Stunning scene as Belleville Historical Society remembers the fallen

The bright sunshine and brilliant blue skies made for an emotional scene above the flags draped over graves of thousands of American soldiers Sunda, May 19. Veterans and visitors gathered in the military circle of Glendale Cemetery in Bloomfield for an early Memorial Day tribute to the fallen. Hosted by the Belleville Historical Society, participants included Belleville American Legion Post 105, Sons of the American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary and Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 366. Former Belleville Mayor Mario Drozdz, whose brother Stan was killed in action in Vietnam, served as emcee. The Rev. Lawrence Fama, pastor of St. Thomas Church in Bloomfield, offered the opening prayer. Tears fell abundantly as American Legion Commander and Vietnam veteran Joe Cobianchi read the names of the young men who fell in battle, as the Belleville High School Army ROTC Color Guard stood at attention. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Peter Gasiewicz played “Taps.” The National Anthem was sung by Suburban Chamber of Commerce trustee Raphael Gavadia. Earlier that Sunday morning, Bloomfield Boy Scout Troop 22 and Bloomfield Cub Scout Pack 22 along with local firefighters and other volunteers set almost 5,000 American flags on the graves of the veterans resting in the military circle (Laurel section).

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