BELMAR, NJ — Belmar's Memorial Day ceremony not only honored the generations of men and women who sacrificed their lives serving this country. There also was a special tribute to one of Belmar’s own: Daniel Moynihan, Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient who did make it home — to serve his community in so many ways for nearly 60 years before he died on May 18.
The rainy skies on May 29 forced the ceremony to be moved from Monument Row on Main Street to the Municipal Building courtroom, where a packed audience listened to Joseph Moynihan reflect briefly on his father’s life. “My father believed in three things: his family, God and his country," he said. “He would thank everyone for coming today, and I’m sure he’s smiling down on all of us.”
“Danny” Moynihan was truly a fixture in the Belmar community, where he planted his roots shortly after serving in Korea and being stationed at Fort Monmouth. He was a retired Belmar Police chief, a member of the Belmar Hook and Ladder Fire Company, a retired Belmar Elementary School substitute teacher, a Eucharist minister at St. Rose Roman Catholic Church and a trustee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1838, which officiated over the Memorial Day remembrance, led by Commander Mark Pawlak.
While Pawlak opened with the tribute to Moynihan, he then moved into the ceremony’s traditional service, which included veterans placing flowers on a commemorative wreath honoring the fallen.
In his remarks, he pointed out there are several important anniversaries being observed this year: the 100th commemoration of the United States entry into World War I, the 75th commemoration of World War II, which continues through 2020; and the 50th commemoration of the Vietnam War, which continues through 2025.
Pawlak said it’s important to remember, especially on Memorial Day, “Young American lives were cut short so that the rest of us could pursue our dreams.”
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