SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – Veterans Day celebrations in both Scotch Plains and Fanwood were solemn events focused on honoring both veterans and those who did not return.
“Yesterday, our community paid tribute to those who served in Vietnam, answering our nation’s call to duty, with the unveiling of the Vietnam Memorial,” said Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover.
“Today, throughout the country people will pause to honor their veterans as we have done today. . .We must commit ourselves every day to serving our veterans as they have served us. They served for love of country from all walks of life.”
“We came here today on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour to honor those who served and to honor the fallen. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure’," said Glover. “When you recognize a veteran, or when you pass one of our present day heroes in uniform, share with them these five simple words: ‘thank you for your service.’
Joe McCort, of the American Legion Post 209, gave a short history of Veterans Day, that began after World War I as Armistice Day, when the treaty was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
McCort talked of the "common bond" that veterans share, that no matter what their political persuasion, they "share a love of God, home and country and the gift of freedom that American’s share. They served so that we can have the freedoms that others in the world only dream of.”
“Our country has survived and prospered only because of the selfless sacrifice of millions of Americans who were willing to give up the security of their homes and families and endure the hardships of the military – that sacrifice can never be ignored or forgotten,” said McCort.
Four wreaths were then laid around the war memorial at the top of Front Street, and the Color Guard from American Legion Post 209 fired the salute.
The Color Guard then moved on to Fanwood, where a short service was held in front of the Memorial Library.