Approximately 50 veterans and Union City residents gathered around the veteran's memorial in Ellsworth Park on Monday to help the West Hoboken American Legion Post 14 honor the area's military heroes.
This Veteran's Day marked the 60th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and came only two months after the World Trade Center attack.
Anyelis Cordero, President of the Union Hill High School History Club, spoke about the history of Veteran's Day.
Veteran's Day, originally called Armistice Day, recognized the end of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918. After World War II, in which 16.5 million Americans took part, the name was changed to Veterans' Day and is a day to honor all veterans of war.
"We want to let [the veterans] know that we remember them and thank them for what they did," said Cordero, adding that the History Club often invites the veterans on their field trips and held their own Veteran's Day ceremony at Union Hill.
However, Post Commander Paul Novembre said that the day also honors those veterans who came back to the United States after the war.
"We are here to honor our dead and departed, and all the veterans who are here," said Novembre after the ceremony. "They rebuilt this country after the war. They knew their responsibility during the war and after it."
During the ceremony, Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Commissioners Michael Leggiero and Ray Lopez presented the veterans with a proclamation that declared the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17 Veterans Pride Week in the city.
"It is important to recognize all the veterans who have put their lives on the line for us," said Stack.
For the past six years, the members of local veterans' organizations have been visiting the city's schools during the week surrounding Veteran's Day to talk to the students about their military service experiences.
"No school was better than the next," said veteran Francis Serdel, after visiting many of the schools this year.
At the local day care sites, Union City Veterans' Affairs Monitor John McMahon gave American flags to all the children.
Throughout last week, flag-raising ceremonies were held for the local veterans' organizations, and all flags were raised at City Hall.
On Nov. 13, the Veterans of Foreign Wars flag was raised. On Nov. 14 the American Legion raised the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag. On Nov. 15 the Disabled American Veterans flag was raised, and the American Veterans Flag was raised on Nov. 16.
Directly following the American Legion flag-raising ceremony, local veterans who have received the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, New Jersey's highest honor, were recognized.
Those recipients who were in attendance at the ceremony were Paul Novembre, Tom Novembre, John Cingirre, John McMahon, Francis Serdel and Emil Hintze.
To end the ceremony, Novembre urged everyone to recognize veterans when they see them.
"Whenever you see [a veteran], say 'Thank you,'" said Novembre.