October 17, 2013 at 12:16 AM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The monuments in West Orange War Memorial Park, located on the southeast lawn of Township Hall, have gotten a long-needed facelift.
Spearheaded by Gary Englert, chairman of the Township Commission on Military and Veteran Affairs, and on behalf of Glennon-Sayers VFW Post 376, American Monument Company was contracted to restore and refinish the deteriorating bronze plaques affixed to the monuments honoring the township's sons who perished in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
The initiative was undertaken to restore plaques that had not been properly maintained (and defaced by the ill-advised use of acid when cleaning the surrounding stone). In addition, the stone monument dedicated to those killed in action in Vietnam was re-cut, resulting in a uniform and proper alignment of the names inscribed. In total, 156 West Orange natives gave their lives in the wars of the last century. The total cost of the restoration was $6,630, and those costs were covered by VFW Post 376, using excess funds from a previous project.
The work began on Friday and was completed on Tuesday. Each year, Englert, the Commission on Military and Veterans Affairs and VFW Post 376 hold nationally recognized Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies. Last year's Veterans Day ceremony was canceled after Hurricane Sandy destroyed two flagpoles and two light fixtures in the park. FEMA monies covered those repairs. This year's Veterans Day Ceremony is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., with a luncheon at the Elks Club on Main Street immediately following the ceremony.