PLAINFIELD, NJ — The City of Plainfield honored military veterans and local members of the armed services with its annual Veterans Day ceremony.  A crowd of veterans, first responders, city administrators and residents gathered in the gardens adjacent to city hall. A procession led by Mayor Adrian O. Mapp made its way to the War Memorial at East 7th St. and Watchung Ave. where a wreath was laid and a moment of silence observed.

The ceremony included a presentation of the colors by the Plainfield Police Department Honor Guard. Ronnell Harrison, an 8th Grade P.A.A.A.S. student, performed the national anthem as well as a musical selection. TAPS was performed by Myles Daniel on trumpet.

Mayor Mapp expressed appreciation to the veterans for their service.  “We have a dedicated space on East Front St. for veterans. We will continue to provide our veterans with services they need and deserve. This past spring we cut the ribbon on the former Dudley House now a home for veterans."  He added, "We will not allow our veterans to go homeless when we can provide a service that they need."

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Commander Cornell Hawkins reminded those in attendance that for veterans, service does not end when they take off the uniforms, it continues. “All I ask of you is to think of those who served, those retired and those that have gone on and gave the ultimate. When you lay your head down at night, remember you have that ability because of these folks who gave everything and more. When you see a veteran not in uniform, just recognize them. When the uniform comes off, a lot of vets feel invisible.”

The Plainfield Public Schools district also observed Veterans Day on Monday, with a ceremony organized by history teachers Beverly Lyons, Brenda Nobel and Emma Sinnott.  The observance was held in the front garden of the school where students, teachers, Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell, Plainfield High School Principal Dion Roach and school administrators gathered.

Students read the names of 121 past Plainfield High School students who served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. The names are immortalized on bronze plaques posted on the walls of Plainfield High School near the gymnasium.

The ceremony also included the presentation of colors by the ROTC, musical selections by the Plainfield High School band under the direction of band leader Peter Brehm, and a special performance by a bagpiper. The printed program detailed facts about each war with relevant poems such as Flanders Field and Invictus.

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