EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick's Veterans Day Observance last night was attended by approximately 250 residents who came to acknowledge the service of past and present heroes.  T

here were Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, EMS workers, firefighters, police officers and political officials in attendance; however, they were greatly outnumbered by the residents who came to honor America's servicemen and women.

Following the entrance of township administrators, Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin, and a performance by the East Brunswick Community Chorus, Chaplain John Marmion of VFW Post #133 opened the session with a request for support and unity for those who serve.  Mayor Brad Cohen welcomed guests and discussed ways in which each person present was somehow connected to the military service of others.  He described his experience working as a young doctor in a veterans' hospital as an eye-opening, compassion-driven opportunity for growth.

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Peter Zinchuk and John Chunco, of AMVETS Post #34 then presented the township's Veterans Day wreath.  Gold Star Parents Christine and William Koch, parents of CPL Stephen R. Koch who was killed in action in 2008, presented the Afghanistan/Iraq War Wreath.  They were followed by Ira Roth of JWV Post #311 and Paul Deutsch and Irwin Steinlight of the Vietnam Veterans of America who presented the World Peace Wreath.

Cohen read a proclamation and presented a street sign to World War II veteran Joseph Marchese, 63-year resident of East Brunswick, for his distinguished service on D-Day, the invasion of France that took place beginning on June 6, 1944.  Marchese was proudly joined by his wife and many members of his family at the event.

The event concluded with some closing comments by the mayor and a thoughtful benediction by Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer of Temple B'Nai Shalom.

The mood of the evening was elevated by communal song and good spirits shared by those in attendance.