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


Holiday Lights Spectacular Opens at Turtle Back Zoo

November 17, 2017

WEST ORANGE, NJ — After reaching its 12th-consecutive attendance milestone in 2016 with 795,558 visitors during its 10th anniversary Holiday Lights Spectacular, the Turtle Back Zoo invites the public to the 11th annual Holiday Lights Spectacular, featuring 50 figures illuminated by one million lights both at the zoo and the surrounding Essex County South Mountain Recreation ...

Now That PSATs are Done, It's Time to Plan a Testing Schedule

Each year, roughly 1.5 million students take the SAT and roughly the same number of students take the ACT each year as well. Most college bound students need to take one of these tests to showcase their academic abilities and gain admission to the college of their choosing. (Curious about test optional colleges? Click here.) 

Scheduling early and planning your test ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, November 19, 11:30 AM

Goldfish Swim School Livingston, Livingston

Grand Opening Goldfish Swim School Livingston

Education Health & Wellness Sports


Sun, November 19, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 205 Fairmount Avenue

Real Estate


Sun, November 19, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Parting Advice from Four Decades on the Front Lines of Local News

November 11, 2017

In February 1978 I walked into the office of The Rahway News-Record and Clark Patriot to begin what I thought was to be a short-term job stepping stone. 

Instead, it turned out to be a nearly 40-year odyssey in local journalism—including the last eight—overwhelmingly great—years with The Alternative Press (TapInto.Net).

I have decided it is time to spend more time in ...

Livingston Offices to Close for Thanksgiving Holiday; No Garbage or Recycling Pickup on Thanksgiving Day

November 18, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ – All Township of Livingston offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

There will be no garbage or recycling pickup on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23. Garbage for those with Monday/Thursday pickup will be collected on the next regularly scheduled day, Monday, Nov. 27.

Recycling collection will move back one ...

Sustained, Severe Cuts Equal Setbacks at NJ Department of Environmental Protection

November 6, 2017

Long-term budget and staff cuts have severely impacted the ability of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to carry out critical work to protect New Jersey’s environment and residents. This has serious implications for wildlife, public health and our economy. DEP is charged with managing and protecting the State’s environment and natural resources.

This ...

The Last Game

My daughter recently played the last soccer game of her career.  


Yippee!  No more practices!  No more tournaments!  No more long drives to obscure fields!  No more tiny black turf pellets all over the car!


No more selfish surges of pride watching her athletic achievements.  No more thrilling victories.


My daughter is a ...