RARITAN, NJ - The 38th Annual John Basilone Memorial Parade took over Somerset Street Sunday, with veterans, marching bands, scouts, officials and Grand Marshall Bob Vaucher, of Bridgewater, marching to honor the late Congressional Medal of Honor and Navy Cross recipient John Basilone.
In addition to the parade, and guest speaker Lt. Gen. Richard Natonski USMC – whose father was in the Marines with Basilone – the later ceremony included a dedication of the road between the Basilone statue and Veterans Park as Colle Sannita Way.
The street is named in honor of the borough's sister city in Italy, where Basilone's father grew up before moving to the United States. The city in Italy, in August, designated Manila John Street, after Basilone's nickname.
The ceremony following the parade also included a proclamation and tribute to John Pacifico, who chaired the Basilone Parade Committee for 33 consecutive years and who died in July.