But there had to be a way to honor those who served in World War I, a place where the respected veterans could get together and enjoy their downtime.
Willie Faistl holds the first group of members of the Weehawken VFW Post 1923 near and dear. That's because his parents were among those charter members. Father William and mother Elizabeth were among the first members of the new Oulton-Kraft Post.
"My mother was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary," said Faistl, now 83. "That group disbanded a few years afterwards."
When Willie Faistl was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, his parents immediately signed him up as a member of the Weehawken VFW Post.
"I was still overseas and they put me in as a member," Faistl said.
He's been a member ever since and remains the longest active member of the Oulton-Kraft Post, some 62 years later. For the last 55 years, Faistl, who now resides in Toms River, has served as the post's adjunct.
"Sure, there's always a sense of pride, even though our membership is dwindling," he said. "We used to have about 50 active members. Now, we're down to about 10. We are lucky that we have about four or five past commanders who are still alive."
Faistl is one of those, having served as the post's leader in 1948 and 1949.
"We have members living in Puerto Rico, in Washington and Delaware," Faistl said. "We have some members that have been members for 50 years or so."
Paying homage on Veterans Day On Friday morning, Weehawken will pay homage to Veterans Day with a ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boulevard East, beginning at 11 a.m. All of the township's organizations, namely the American Legion, the Weehawken Elks, the township committee and, of course, the VFW, will be represented in the ceremonies, which will include reflection, prayer and wreath presentations.
However, after the ceremonies are over, the VFW members will celebrate their 75th anniversary with a get-together at the Weehawken Senior Nutritional Center on Highwood Avenue.
Unfortunately, Faistl will not be able to attend. His health does not allow him to travel much.
But he still has a lot of fond memories of the early days of the Oulton-Kraft Post.
"Back in 1932, the Post sponsored the first Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps competition," Faistl recalled. "There were 40 bands participating and it was held every year throughout the state. But the first was in Weehawken."
Faistl said that the Weehawken VFW Post marching band won the 1934 state title in Cape May.
"We have a plaque with all of the names of the boys who performed," Faistl said.
Sergio Martinelli has been a member of the VFW Post since 1966. Martinelli, who still resides in Weehawken, is a veteran of the Korean War.
"I joined in 1966 and Willie Faistl put me into an office position the next year," Martinelli said. "I then became commander of the Post three years later. I still live here and I'll be there. I've been in and out of the hospital a couple of times, so I hope to be there for the anniversary."
Martinelli said that the Post has already received a letter of commendation from the VFW headquarters in Washington, commemorating the anniversary.
"I think the ones that are left have a lot of pride in being members," Martinelli said. "We've been trying to get new members, but it's not easy. Younger guys who served overseas just don't want to join."
Martinelli said that he keeps himself busy doing a host of volunteer work throughout the community, but he will take a break Friday to honor his Post and its long-time members, like his friend Faistl, who will be sorely missed.
"We have been members for a long time," Faistl said. "It's like a close family. We want to keep it going."
Hopefully, for another 75 years.