Memorial Day…remember and give thanks
Memorial Day is a very special day in America and one we take great pride in here in Secaucus. From our youngest students and scouts, to our oldest veterans, our residents come together to remember our service men and women during our patriotic events and ceremonies. Our children write poems and essays, and families visit cemeteries to honor lost loved ones. Our community celebrates the lives and sacrifices of our veterans together every year through our annual Memorial Day parade, which is held when the majority of residents are home and able to participate or observe. Memorial Day was first observed in 1868, a few years after the Civil War, at Arlington National Cemetery to honor those who died serving our country. It was originally called Decoration Day, as flowers were placed on the graves of those who gave his life so that we may live in freedom. General George S. Patton once said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
After World War I ended in 1918, Memorial Day advanced and became a day to recognize and honor all soldiers that died in any war. Memorial Day officially became a Federal Holiday in 1971. It is a day to pay tribute to all veterans, male and female from all branches of the military.
This year, we had the honor of having five World War II Veterans serve as Grand Marshalls during the Memorial Day Parade. These men: Anthony Argenziano, US Army 1943-1945 90th Division; John Cingirre, U.S. Army, 1943-1946, Ranger & 29th Division, Normandy D-Day; Joseph DeMartine, U.S. Marines, 1942-1946, Guam Island Siapan & Mariannas Islands; Henry Fette, U.S Army, three years at the Aleutian Islands, Alaska; Anthony T. Mongelli, U.S. Army 1944-1945, Normandy Invasion; all took an oath as young men to serve and protect this great land and ensure that each of us enjoys the freedom we have today. Each served our country honorably and continues to live quietly in this quaint community.
In one of the most widely known presidential inaugural speeches, John F. Kennedy said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Kennedy told the country that day in 1961, “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.” Today and every day, we are thankful for the brave men and women who choose to defend our great land. We thank those who gave all and we thank those who continue to serve our country today.
As you mark your calendar to plan a vacation, shop the holiday sales, go on a family picnic or take a trip to the beach, during Memorial Day weekend, please take a minute to remember the men and women that fought for your freedom. If you see a veteran, extend your hand and say “Thank You” for your service. Today and every day, let us all be proud to be an American.