MILLBURN, NJ - In a morning ceremony under the humid July sun at Taylor park, the Millburn/Short Hills Fourth of July Committee honored a long-time township resident for all his years of service to the community.
Randy Bobish, the moderator of the program, introduced William Pollock as the awardee for the 2019 Patriot Award. The patriot award is given annually by the committee to honor an individual or organization who has shown honor and serivce to the country and Millburn Township through their character and deeds.
And when it comes to deeds, few in Millburn have as long a resume as Pollock. Born and raised in Millburn, he worked at Lonergan's Hardware, cleaned offices in town, and worked at the former Sunoco station as well.
As he got older, Pollock had stints with the Millburn Department of Public Works (DPW), Paper Mill Playhouse and the Millburn Police Department, where he worked as an officer, detective and arson investigator. After being introduced, Pollock gave a short speech in which he extolled the virtues of living in the community he grew up in.
"I made a decision early on that I was going to stay here and be a part of this community, and hopefully be able to contribute something back," Pollock said.
In his speech, Pollock, who is retiring and moving out of Millburn this year, also said that it is a special thing for a person to have a real home town where they know they have family, friends, safety and comfort. Pollock said he found all of those during his years in Millburn.
Again, I am humbled and extremely grateful," Pollock added. "I share this with my wife Anne, who has taken 30 years of this ride with me and supported me through it all every step of the way. I also share this with my family and all my friends on the July Fourth Committee...They are a dedicated bunch."
Some of the other activities at the morning ceremony included a flag raising, recitation of the pledge of allegiance, a performance of the national anthem and a parade of bikes, trikes and strollers around the park.
One of the parents in attendance at the event was Joe Ackroyd. Ackroyd, a Millburn Township resident was there with his wife Nicole, daughter Alice and son Denes.
He noted that it was inspiring to hear Pollock talk about what Millburn meant to him over the years, as it was a reminder to have civic pride. That civic pride was something he saw reflected in his own children during the run-up to the bike parade.
"I think that the kids really enjoyed decorating their bikes [and] getting themselves ready," Ackroyd said. "We're going to go to the fireworks later and enjoy the rides."
Ackroyd added, "It's important to have a day to remember...It's more than the bike parade, it's important to remember the birth of the country."
After the ceremony was done, attendees dispersed and an exhibition softball game took place on the field directly behind the flagpole.