While some people appear to think Memorial Day is about beaches, barbecues and bargains, our local communities are all keeping the true meaning alive, with ceremonies and parades, celebrating the miracle that is America and, more importantly, remembering the servicemen and women who died to preserve that miracle.
Here is a roundup, town by town, of the events that are planned.
At 10 a.m., Monday, May 30, there will be a placing of a wreath in the Passaic River in honor of naval and maritime war dead and services for the Revolutionary War dead at the Dutch Reform Church. At 10:30, a service for Belleville police and firefighters at Town Hall. At 11, the primary event: a service at the Belleville Memorial Monument at 496 Union Ave., with speakers to include Rep. Bill Pascrell. Unveiled on the monument will be the name of Pfc. Henry Svehla, who was killed in the Korean War and who, on May 2, was finally awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Memorial Day Parade steps off Monday at 9:30 a.m. at Broad St. and continues to Liberty. Afterward, the public is invited to visit three cemeteries in town, where prayers for the dead will be offered.
On Wednesday, May 25, at 6:30 p.m., Mayor Joseph Smith and members of the Borough Council and Albert Ettlin American Legion Post and Auxiliary will conduct a memorial ceremony at Borough Hall, 34 Sherman Ave. Afterwards, participants will march to St. Anthony’s Church for a 7 p.m. Memorial Mass.
Memorial Day observances will be held Sunday, May 29, at the American Legion Post on Paterson St. starting at 10 a.m. The AL, VFW, mayor and council and members of the public are invited to attend and then join in a procession to Holy Cross Church for the annual Memorial Mass at 10:30 a.m. After Mass, memorial ceremonies will be held at Roosevelt Park.
The Memorial Day Parade will take place, rain or shine, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26 on Belgrove Drive, from Locust Ave. to Bergen Ave. Following the parade, ceremonies will be held on Belgrove bewtwen Afton St. and Bergen. Grand Marshal is Murray Sklar, Marine Corps State Chaplain; principal speaker, John Melione of the West Hudson Detachment of the Marine Corps League. In event of rain, the services will be held at American Legion Post 99.
The Memorial Day Parade is set for 11 a.m., Monday, May 30, starting at Park and Court and ending at Township Hall, where a memorial ceremony will take place following the march.
The Memorial Day Parade begins Monday at 2 p.m. on Canterbury Ave. and ends at Borough Hall on Ridge Road. It will be followed by a ceremony sponsored by the
VFW, American Legion and Recreation. Afterwards, there will be a holiday festival behind Borough Hall.
The Memorial Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. Monday and follows a route from Chestnut St. to Passaic Ave. to Centre Street to Franklin Ave. The keynote speaker is Raymond L. Zawacki, deputy commissioner of Veterans Affairs; Rich McClintick is Grand Marshal.
Prior to the parade, there will be services and visits to memorials. The schedule includes:
8 a.m., Services at Post 70 – American Legion; 8:15, Amvets 85 Park Ave.; 8:25, Veterans of Foreign Wars Boulder, Washington Ave.; 8:40, Services at the Methodist Cemetery – Park Ave.; 8:50, American Legion Services at the WWI Boulder; 9, Franklin Reformed Church; 9:30, All Wars Memorial (Memorial Park on Vreeland Ave.); 9:40, Catholic War Veterans Services at the Korean Conflict Boulder – Town Hall; 9:55, Veterans Council Services at Vietnam Memorial – Town Hall.
Also: 10:05 a.m., Peacetime Memorial Dedication – Vincent Place; 10:10, Amvets Services at WW II Memorial – Vincent Place; 10:20, Daughters of the American Revolution Services at Civil War Boulder – Nutley High School; 10:30 a.m., DAR Services at DAR Boulder – Nutley HS; 10:40, Fireman’s Memorial Service at the Chestnut St. Fire House; 10:45, Veterans Council Community Memorial Service, Park Oval.