KINDERHOOK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York National Guard celebrated former Pres. Martin Van Buren’s birthday on Monday. They placed a wreath at his gravesite in Kinderhook.

Van Buren was born in Kinderhook in 1782 and was in the White House from 1837 to 1841. Organizers said it’s important to honor him and the legacy he left behind.

“He was a man who knew how to talk to people,” Friends of Lindenwald Pres. Jane Miller said. “He knew how to compromise. He was a man who respected people.”

Van Buren was the first president from New York and the only president who spoke English as a second language. He grew up speaking Dutch.