BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Memorial Day parade and ceremony have been canceled due to the executive order mandated by Gov. Phil Murphy during this COVID-19 pandemic. However, these restrictions haven't stopped the Veterans Memorial Park Restoration Committee from "safely" sprucing up the park [located at the corner of Plainfield and Park avenues] with new flowers to show our patriotism in honor of our Veterans. On Friday morning, the committee was working on the final touches by placing the flags along the perimeter of the park -- -- Veterans Memorial Park is looking spectacular! 

Thanks in part to the annual $1,000 donation by the Smith Chiropractic Foundation, the park is maintained throughout the year. The annuals planted this year have been generously donated by Deans Greens Garden, Nursery and Flower Center.

Dr. Patrick Smith presented the check for $1,000 on Friday to Ted Romankow, Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Restoration Committee. Romankow said the new dogwood tree to be planted in the park will be purchased by Smith Chiropractic Foundation. 

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A small private Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Monday at 9 a.m. at the park for members of the VFW who will recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Father Matthew Dooley will say a prayer, and the veterans will present the Battlefield Memorial and read the names and do our ceremony, said former VFW Commander Tom Lombardi. Current VFW Commander Al Campora will also speak on behalf of the Veterans to honor the memory of our fallen service members. 

Although the public is not invited to the ceremony, "the public is encouraged to drive by during the day to pause and remember. Enjoy the beauty of the park and remember those who fought for our freedom," said Romankow. 

This year, the Berkeley Heights Police Department and members of the PBA Local 144 are organizing a "Drive By Salute" to the local Veterans. "Drive By Salute" will take place on Memorial Day starting at 10:30 a.m. 

The Township asks that the most current government advisories be adhered to, so social distancing must remain in place and limit group gathering size as you participate.