EDISON, NJ – On Memorial Day, Edison Township dedicated Oliver Ave at the corner of Grove Street in honor of Private First Class Herman 'Zeke' Zederbaum, a WWII veteran.
PFC Zederbaum enlisted on December 10, 1942, a little over a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor unitl his discharge from the Army on January 26, 1946.
The dedication was attended by Mayor Thomas Lankey and the friends and family of the Zederbaum family.
“Thank You to The Edison Veterans committee, Mayor Lankey, The Edison Town Council, Assembly women Nancy Pinkin and all the veterans and friends who attended the event,” Scott Zederbaum, son of Herman Zederbaum said.
PFC Zederbaum served with the 100th Infantry Division, 325th Engineer Combat Battalion, Company C and was decorated for his expertise in explosives and demolition as a front line Combat engineer.
Steven Zederbaum, grandson of PFC Zederbaum said this of his grandfather, “At the age of 19, my grandfather, Herman Zederbaum, was drafted into the Army. He was only 5 years older than I was. He saw lots of combat in World War II and risked his life every day on the front lines, clearing the way for U.S. forces as they went through France. He also had the extremely difficult task of liberating a major concentration camp in Germany.”
The 100th ID’s history is well documented. They experienced 185 days of uninterrupted ground combat, during which time they liberated or captured over 400 cities, towns, and villages and defeated major elements of eight German divisions.
PFC Zederbaum passed through Camp Kilmer in 1944 on his way from Fort Bragg to join the combat in the European theater of operations in France and Germany.
“Memorial Day means a lot to me because unfortunately, I never had the opportunity and privilege to meet my grandfather, as he died when my father was 10. He served 4 long years in the Second World War, and this is a day that we get to honor him for his years of service. He was lucky enough to survive the War, as unfortunately, many did not. But that is why Memorial Day is so important-to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could all live better lives. And to my grandfather, I want to say thank-you. If there weren’t people like you, risking their lives for others, and so that our country could be free, we may not be here today,” Steven Zederbaum concluded.