GLEN ROCK, NJ - As part of the weekend celebration of Glen Rock's 125th Anniversary, local officials, residents, first responders and U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) gathered to honor Glen Rock’s first responders, borough residents lost in World War I and II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and other conflicts, as well as the eleven Borough residents who were killed in the September 11 attacks.
“Glen Rock is a community, a family, that truly exemplifies what it means to have Jersey Values. This town was born because those who came before us wanted their children to have a great education in a safe, tightly-knit community. When called upon to serve our country, countless times, Glen Rock stepped up, sacrificed, and helped chart our nation on its path forward. The community of Glen Rock has had the backs of North Jersey, the state, and our country, and I am honored to represent and always get the backs of those right here in Glen Rock,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Thank you all for letting me share in this rich piece of history, as a part of this community, as we celebrate these past 125 years. May there be 125 more, and 125 more after that.”
Gottheimer’s Bergen County district office is in Glen Rock. He stood with Glen Rock Mayor Bruce Packer, Council President Kristine Morieko, and members of the Glen Rock Council, at the 520-ton rock around which Glen Rock was settled.
Gottheimer recounted history is his remarks.
"Many years ago, the Lenape tribe used this area as a hunting ground and this rock was used as a meeting point. And their native trail is what we now call Rock Road," Gottheimer said.
"After a New Jersey mandate consolidated one-room school houses in 1894, the children of Glen Rock would have to walk quite a distance to their new school. So, Glen Rock took a house-to-house survey, they decided to chart their own course and provide for their children, and form an entirely new, separate township. And that’s how Glen Rock was officially formed.
"And since then, the Glen Rock community has continued to come together, to contribute to North Jersey, the state of New Jersey, and to our nation.
"During World War One, the town of Glen Rock lost five sons, and the entire borough came together and prepared soldier's medical kits for the Red Cross, they rationed food and fuel, and they gathered metals to donate to the war effort.
"The five names of those lost in World War One are now affixed on a bronze plaque on this very rock - honoring their service and sacrifice to our country.
"The community was tested again during World War Two, and Glen Rock answered the call by providing our nation with one of the most distinguished soldiers who ever lived -- Glen Rock resident Thomas L. Hawkins, a Tuskegee Airman who served with distinction, and who was killed in action in Italy in 1945.
"We will never forget these brave soldiers whose memories will live on as their names are proudly set here into this Rock. And to those who fought and those we lost in Vietnam and other conflicts – and with the eighteenth anniversary of 9/11 just this past week, we remember the eleven who perished from Glen Rock that day," Gottheimer said.
And we’ll never forget the dedication of all the first responders -- our police and law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, and others -- who have so bravely served our community.