Large Numbers Turn Out for Livingston's Memorial Day Parade

Proud marchers in the parade. The woman seated is a member of Gold Star Mothers, an organization that is open to any American woman whose child has died in the line of duty of the United States Armed Forces.
Three-year-old Julia Nardone enjoying the parade.
Phil Pondiscio from Livingston's Grace Lutheran Church handing out water to the marchers.
Fifth graders enjoying the parade.
Miss Buddy Poppy, 11-year-old Anna Burchman
Keynote speaker Col. Peter Berkowsky (Ret.) giving a heartfelt speech at the memorial ceremony before the parade.

LIVINGSTON, NJ - In an era where Memorial Day has come to symbolize shopping sales and the start of beach season, a substantial crowd of all ages lined the almost 1.5 mile stretch of Livingston Avenue in Livingston, New Jersey, on Monday to show their appreciation to those who have served our country.

At the memorial ceremony prior to the parade Keynote Speaker Col. Peter Berkowsky gave a rousing speech in which he saluted his fellow Americans. He addressed the many young people in attendance, pointing out in his day almost every male high school senior was expected to serve two years in the military. In this post-draft period his advice on how to serve our country was to do three simple things:  1)  Vote. "We are blessed to live in a country to have this freedom," he noted. 2) Pay your taxes. 3) When called on, do jury duty. He concluded, "All require effort, but that is what service to our country is all about."

This year's Grand Marshall was Steven Hoffman, a 25-year veteran of the armed forces who served during Vietnam. His granddaughter, 11-year-old Anna Burchman, was this year's Miss Buddy Poppy.

Two Elephants from the Cole Bros. Circus led the parade down Livingston Avenue from the Memorial Oval to Congressional Parkway. Members of the armed forces, Livingston's police and fire departments, the first-aid squad, numerous marching bands and various community groups followed them.

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