The Fanwood Scotch Plains Memorial Day Parade Committee has announced that the third annual Memorial Day concert will be held on Sunday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fanwood train station. The following morning, the Memorial Day Parade will take place along Park Avenue in Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
The theme of this year’s Memorial Day observances will be the 70th anniversary of the D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history and a pivotal battle of World War II.
On June 6, 1944, an estimated 150,000 Allied forces crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of northern France to attack German forces. Nearly 10,000 U.S., British and Canadian soldiers were killed or wounded. Their sacrifices helped the Allied forces gain a foothold on the European continent and eventually defeat the Nazi regime.
“It is appropriate that we remember and honor the 6,000-plus American casualties on D-Day, just days before June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion,” said Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover.
Malcolm Nettingham, a World War II veteran, will serve as Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. Nettingham is one of 300 Tuskegee airmen to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award Congress may bestow.
The Tuskegee airmen were the first black pilots in American military service and had to overcome discrimination and prejudice to become a respected groups of service members in World War II.
“We are delighted to have a distinguished and highly decorated veteran as our Grand Marshal,” said Don Wussler, commission chairman.
The Westfield Community Band will play patriotic melodies, traditional marches and other festive songs to celebrate at the Sunday evening concert.
“We are pleased to again host the Memorial Day concert. D-Day must never be forgotten by our citizens,” said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr.
The parade committee invites all residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood to participate in both of the Memorial Day weekend events. The concert is funded by local residents, businesses and community organizations. Those wishing to contribute may make checks payable to the Township of Scotch Plains, c/o Toni Rollis, Scotch Plains Municipal Building, 430 Park Ave., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. Rollis can be reached at (908) 322-6700 Ext. 314.