MADISON, NJ—A small crowd of veterans, residents and public officials gathered in the blistering sun Wednesday at Lucy D. Anthony Field to rededicate the field's flagpole in honor of Flag Day.
With the help of American Legion Post 43 and Mayor Conley, the Patriotic Celebrations Committee spearheaded the event with Councilwoman Carmela Vitale, and this year installed a new plaque at the flag’s base in memory of the men and women who served in World War II.
Post 43 Commander Dave Carey offered a few words about our nation’s flag in his opening comments.
“We honor the stars and stripes as an emblem of our country and a symbol of all the patriotism it means,” Carey said, quoting President Calvin Coolidge. “It represents our peace and security, our civil and political liberty, our freedom of religious worship, family, friends and our homes.”
Surrounding the flag’s base, a walled-in area full of roses represents Madison’s “Rose City” nickname. Landscaping was completed by the Madison Department of Public Works and borough resident Louie Cecala.
The flagpole, installed last year by Madison’s Electric Department, was erected to honor veterans who return to the site, which once housed World War II veterans during the post-war housing crisis.
During that crisis sixteen army barracks were brought to the Lucy D. and converted into temporary housing for these veterans and their families as part of an emergency housing project after World War II.
Mayor Conley said he thinks the site should inspire housing ideas for today’s veterans who have no homes to which they can return after serving in the military.
Carey commended those who fought in the war and offered a few words for warriors’ families, whom he called the “unsung heroes” of the war effort.
“American Legion Post 43 is proud to be part of this commemoration that honors not only the returning WWII vets who sacrificed so much to keep us free, but also brings to the forefront the wives, the sweethearts and the children who kept the home fires burning bright and secure,” he said.
“While their efforts all too often go unmentioned, their sacrifices were just as important, often difficult, and contributed significantly to the winning war effort."
The crowd joined together in a salute to the flag, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and a two-gun rifle salute by the American Legion Post 43 color guard.
Flag Day is celebrated each year on June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the United States flag, which occurred 240 years ago on the same day in 1777, less than one year after America was founded.
Quoting President Coolidge once more, Carey offered a few words about the significance of an annual Flag Day.
“A yearly contemplation of our flag strengthens and purifies the national consciousness,” he said.