Giving Back

Crowd Gathers at Livingston Homecoming Light to Honor Service Men and Women


LIVINGSTON, NJ — A crowd gathered at Livingston’s Homecoming Light at the Oval on Veteran’s Day to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the light, which was established in 2007 to honor those military families and loved ones who continue to serve.

Longtime Livingston resident Bunny Ratner envisioned and was instrumental in creating the Homecoming Light as a welcoming beacon of light for Livingston service men and women. The plaque by the Homecoming Light reads: “This Light will shine until that time when all our service men and women are safe at home and peace reigns throughout the world.”

“This was to honor those military people who are currently serving,” said Ratner. “It was outstanding. If anyone thought it was cold, this was such a warm, wonderful, exciting, beautiful hour. I thank the council for giving me the opportunity to do it.”

Sign Up for E-News

On behalf of the Livingston Township Council, Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein thanked Ratner and other involved volunteers for creating the opportunity for the township to once again recognize and honor its veterans.

“Livingston as a township makes recognizing our veterans a high priority,” said Klein, who spoke about the 1 percent that has willingly taken up the responsibility to protect the country and maintain freedom in the world. “These valiant volunteers make the sacrifice while the rest of us were told not too long ago to keep on shopping. If ever there comes a time where we have no soldiers fighting abroad, we may be able to turn [the light] off.”

In preparation for the ceremony, organizers realized they did not have the answer to a simple question: “Who in Livingston is serving; who is protecting us right now?”

Klein stated that the 1 percent of Americans stationed in areas of conflict who put themselves in harms way on a daily basis to protect their country deserve to be acknowledged.

In order to honor Livingston’s active-duty military members, six family members spoke at the event to share about the many achievements of their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

“It was so inspiring to hear about their accomplishments, you could not help feeling a swelling of pride that they were from Livingston,” said Klein. “Truly, our armed forces represent the best of us. These lives are precious beyond words and we can only hope our president understands that.

“Lindsey Graham reported that President Trump told him with regard to the escalating conflict and the possible dropping of bombs in the Koreas that ‘if they die, they will be over there.’ Well, ‘over there’ is where our people are.  We hope this president understands that his words and actions could have dire consequences for our bravest and we pray that cool heads and good judgment will prevail. We pray for peace. And we pray we can turn off our Homecoming Light.”

Ratner noted how heartwarming it was to hear from the family members during the event.

She added that when the light was established ten years ago, 29 men and women from Livingston were serving in the military and all survived. Today, she said, Livingston servicemen and women are serving in 165 countries.

As guests celebrated to the tune of “You’re a Grand ‘Ol Flag” and “I’m Proud to be an American” by members of the Livingstones on Saturday, Ratner said she was grateful that the township had the opportunity to honor its current service members.

On behalf of the entire township, Klein thanked all veterans for all they have risked and continue to do for the country. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Newark Councilwoman Launches Bid to Become First Female Mayor

January 17, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins began her campaign to become the first female mayor of New Jersey's largest city, attacking the record and character of Mayor Ras Baraka.

Chaneyfield Jenkins also framed her run within the struggle of women in Newark and across America to assert themselves as part the growing movement against sexual assault ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, January 19, 7:00 PM

The Hanover Manor, East Hanover

Big L Club Third Annual Casino Night

Giving Back Sports


Sun, January 21, 2:00 PM

Livingston High School Auditorium, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Family Concert: The ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, January 21, 2:00 PM

Livingston High School Auditorium, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Family Concert: "The ...

Arts & Entertainment

NJSIAA: Bills Grant Super Powers to 20 Schools; Upcoming Vote Puts Kids at Risk

January 4, 2018

As a 100-year-old, independent, private, and voluntary non-profit association serving the needs of 435 public and non-public high schools and nearly 300,000 student athletes, we have an unwavering commitment to promoting and protecting education-based interscholastic athletics. At our core, we are committed to ensuring a safe and competitive environment, while also enhancing the educational ...

Livingston Symphony Family Concert: The Composer's Toolbox

January 16, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Visit “The Composer’s Toolbox,” this year’s Livingston Symphony Orchestra Family Concert on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Livingston High School Auditorium, 30 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston NJ.

Known for his easy rapport with audience members of all ages and joy in sharing the stories behind the music, Maestro Anthony LaGruth ...

Accepting Yourself

It is the beginning of January, which means college applications are due.


This is the time where high school seniors all across the country place their academic souls on the line and compete for spots in colleges and universities that reject more students than they accept.  


And so, as a public service to all of these smart and talented kids who spent their ...

You're A Mean One . . .

Seriously, Grinch?


I am standing in line at the checkout counter of our local grocery store.  An obviously perturbed woman and her young daughter are staring at my cart.  It contains twelve tubs of Edy’s Limited Edition Slow Churned Peppermint Ice Cream because I have just cleared out the entire freezer case.


“They don’t sell it in ...