I just returned home from the township's annual Memorial Day Observance and I must confess that Memorial Day is a bit of a double-edged sword for me. It is unfortunately a reminder that my dad is no longer with us. My dad served in the Navy in WW 2 and the celebration brings that home every year. Growing up in my house there was no question that patriotism was one of the hallmarks by which our family was raised. Memorial Day, The 4th of July and Veteran's Day were as religiously celebrated in our house as Christmas, Easter, birthdays or even my mom and dad's anniversary. My dad was very active in the American Legion and VFW, having served as President of the posts to which he belonged.
While it is sad that my dad is no longer with us, it was his patriotism that brings me such pleasure today. I have been active as an assistant scout master in Boy Scout Troop 223 here in town for some time and our participation in today's event and other patriotic events with VFW Post 133, our sponsoring agent, provides the brighter edge of the aforementioned sword. It brings me such joy to see the scouts helping at these events and watching them develop a sense of pride in their nation. I know that their attendance at these events is not simply to achieve another patch or badge, but rather because of their understanding of the importance of citizenship. Citizenship both here in East Brunswick as well as the United States. While I miss my dad and the passion that he brought to his patriotism, I know that when he looks down to witness events like the observance here in town he smiles the big smile that he always had he is pleased that his son is trying to continue to the efforts to make everyone understand how vital it is that we continue to remember our veterans, their sacrifices, and how blessed we are to be living in the United States.