Raritan Township Observes Memorial Day

 Taps is played during the Memorial Day observation in Raritan Township.  Credits: Terry Wright
Veterans of Foreign Wars honor guard watches as bugler Mark Parradis concludes the Memorial Day observation in Raritan Townshp. Credits: Terry Wright
Raritan Township Committeemen Mike Mangin (left) and Richard Cheng place the wreath at the Vietnam Monument on Monday morning. Credits: Terry Wright

RARITAN TWP. -- As they’ve done every Memorial Day since 1982, a group of people met Monday morning in front of the Vietnam memorial at the Raritan Township municipal complex for a service.

It was in remembrance of all fallen military members, but particularly Mike Baldwin and Fred Zyck, township residents killed in the Vietnam War during their Army service. They were sergeants and their names are on the monument. Some of their relatives were among the three dozen people at the ceremony.

Speakers included Raritan Township Committeeman Richard Cheng and the Rev. Mark Spildooren of Flemington, a former Navy chaplain who is pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church of Amwell at Larison's Corner. He led the group in prayer and talked about the importance of remembering the fallen as well as members of the military currently serving our nation.

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Bob Godown, who has served as commander of the Flemington Veterans of Foreign Wars and commandant of the Hunterdon County Veterans Alliance, was master of ceremonies. The ceremony ended with the firing of a rifle salute and then taps by bugler Mark Paradis of Lebanon, director of Taps for Veterans. The national group takes part in military funerals and other events.

The monument was erected in 1982 near the Police Station. It was moved to its current location in front of the Municipal Building in 2011 and dedicated on Veterans Day that year. The new memorial area includes pavers, benches and flag poles and was the Eagle Scout project of township resident Eddie Wheeler, a member of Troop 194.

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