EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Township held their annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Municipal complex last night. The event consisted of a wreath ceremony to honor those who lost their lives in active combat, prayer sermons from both the Catholic and Jewish leadership in East Brunswick and a speech from a local veteran. The ceremony was performed with the assistance of the Veterans Alliance of East Brunswick and Scouts BSA. In attendance at the ceremony was East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen, members of the council Jim Wendell, Michael Spadafino, Sharron Sullivan and Kevin McEvoy.
The ceremony was hosted by Mayor Cohen with guest speaker Peter J. Lupo, an Army veteran who served as Lieutenant Colonel. He has earned the bronze gold star. He is now a practicing attorney in New Jersey and New York.
Lupo began his speech by telling the audience about the history of Veterans Day, first being called Armistice day. Lupo recalled his journey in the army beginning with his first day at boot camp to his first tour of Germany. At the end of his speech, he thanked all those in attendance, saying a special thank you to his fellow veterans in the audience.
“In the era of divisive politics, what can we agree on as a country? I would say appreciation for veterans and their service generates sacred bipartisan consensus” Lupo said in his speech “What I will leave you with is this, remember what we do as veterans is to preserve the freedom given to us by the constitution to all of us Americans. While we have many things that divide us, we are all Americans and that is our one great cause.”
The event was organized by the Veterans Alliance of East Brunswick with the Department of Recreation and Parks. Sandy Catarzi is the liaison of the Alliance. She explained there are currently five commanders within the Alliance all of which have multiple members within their post located in East Brunswick. The Alliance also hosts a Memorial Day observance every year that is also planned out with the township. Catarzi says that she was happy with the turn out for this year’s Veterans Day observance and looks forward to working with the community in future endeavors.
To help with the ceremony was Scouts BSA Troops and Packs 501 and 223, a combination of Boy and Girl Scouts who often work with the community. Earlier that day, the scouts were at the North Brunswick Elmwood Cemetery to lay wreaths for fallen soldiers.
Shannon Pullaro is the scoutmaster for the BSA troop who organized the scouts at this event. According to her, the scouts do a few events for veterans every year in order to show kids the respect that veterans deserve and how they should be celebrated.
“They owe a debt of gratitude to those who fought for us for generations since the beginning of this country” Pullaro said “It’s a great way to show reverence, that some of the Scout’s law, and this is a great way to do that.”