'O America' -- Colts Neck Honors Veterans in a Special Ceremony Followed by a Luncheon Hosted by The Colts Neck Woman's Association

Members of the Colts Neck Township Committee with Lt. Col. Jack Smith and Col. James Sfayer.
Colts Neck High School Navy Junior ROTC
Lt. Col. Jack Smith
Woman's Club member and past president of the club for many terms, Doris DeGrandis and her husband of 61 years, U.S. Veteran Joseph DeGrandis.
Colts Neck Boy Scouts
U.S. Veteran Joseph DeGrandis with Lt. Col. Jack Smith

COLTS NECK, N.J - In a Veteran's Day Celebration filled with songs of patriotism and pride for the United States of America, Colts Neck Township residents, members of the Township Committee and many other dignitaries and guests showed their appreciation for the men and women who served and continue to serve to keep America safe. A special Veteran's Day ceremony was held in the Colts Neck Courthouse on Saturday morning, with a luncheon that immediately followed, hosted by The Woman's Club of Colts Neck.

As guests entered the foyer of the Court House they were greeted by the Colts Neck High School Navy Junior ROTC, who were standing at attention with their Presentation of Colors. It was standing room only when the event opened with Mayor Russell Macnow welcoming everyone to the 2017 Veteran's Day Ceremony, followed by opening remarks by the Master of Ceremonies; Col. James Sfayer, USMC. 

Professional vocalist and Colts Neck resident Amy Fredericks sang the National Anthem and later performed God Bless America and a song titled "O America"  (You can listen to Fredricks in the videos below).

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Colts Neck Boy Scout Troop 290 assisted in the Salute to the Flag. There was an introduction of veterans, and at that time Col. James Sfayer asked all veterans or those with loved ones who were veterans, to please stand and share their experience.  (You can see and hear from a few of the veteran's in the video below).

The special guest speaker for the event was Col. Jack Smith, a medical doctor, who In 2003 volunteered as US Army Medical Doctor at Bagram, Afghanistan Air Force Base. He was  the Chief Medical Officer on a rotating basis in Bagram, with over a dozen army medics working for him. He spent tours in war zones helping to heal others injured in warfare.  Among many interesting details, Lt. Colonel Smith shared, he told the the crowd about 'asymmetrical warfare' and that America is now and always was the 'good guy'. He was serving in Afghanistan and recounted the story of a man who brought his father eight miles to the clinic 'in a wheelbarrow' because the son said that 'he knew the Americans would take care of him'. He reminded everyone who is war weary that they have dedicated enemies, and that the United States must be resolute in its goal as it is the way to preserve and protect our way of life. The conclusion of Smith's speech was met with great applause and appreciation.  

Mayor Macnow and Col. Sfayer gave the closing remarks and thanked the Woman's Club of Colts Neck for hosting the luncheon that the veterans and their families were soon to enjoy. The ceremony came to an end as guests were able to enjoy another song by Fredricks who concluded with singing a beautiful selection titled "O America." 

Guests were then welcomed to the lower library level for a delicious buffet of foods, desserts and great conversation. President of The Woman's Club of Colts Neck, Joanna Vroman says, "The annual veteran's luncheon is something that we truly enjoy and are honored to host. Our Woman's Club looks forward all year to this event.  It is such a group effort and we want to thank everyone who contributed." 

The Woman's Club of Colts Neck was founded in 1964 with the mission of maintaining a center for the intellectual and moral welfare of its members; to advance the welfare of the community and to promote the interests of the General Federation of Woman's Clubs and the New Jersey State Federation of Woman's Clubs. The mailing address is: The Woman's Club of Colts Neck, Post Office Box 31, Colts Neck, NJ 07722. The Club meets the second Thursday of each month.




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