Middlesex County News

East Brunswick Honors Heroes, Builds Community of Support

Mayor Cohen with the US Naval Sea Cadet Corp, NWS Earle Division Color Guard, and the Historical Flag Contingent Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The parade of honor begins at the EB Municipal Complex Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Vets and scouts on a day of remembrance - with Mike Goff and Tommy Coohill... Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
American Historical Flags on parade Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Cub Scouts from pack 223 and 132 of East Brunswick Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, Councilmen Jim Wendell and Mike Spadafino, and Captain Joe McGinnis on the dais. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
East Brunswick High School Brass Choir, under the direction of Brian Toth Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
At teh East Brunswick Veteran's Memorial... Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
BSA Troops 132 and 223 carry the flags Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Jonathan Sternesky, Joe Criscuolo, Rabbi Efryim Unterman, Reverend Erica Munoz, and Phoebe Struminger on the dais. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Irwin Sternlight and Paul Deutsch represent the Vietnam Veterans Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Boy Scout Color Guard and Ian Hou, trumpeter Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Members of the East Brunswick Fire Department, Sea Cadets, and residents before the Wreath Ceremony Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Present and future members of the East Brunswick Police Department show support for the event. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
About 200 citizens attended the event Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Vietnam Veterans honor the flag. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Sea Cadets parade with America's historical flags... Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Mayor Brad Cohen welcomes guests Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The Wreath Ceremony honors those lost from all areas of service in all conflicts. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Vets and Sea Cadet show respect for each other. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Council President Michael Spadafino presents the Freedom Wreath. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Councilman Jim Wendell and a Sea Cadet honor those from East Brunswick Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Wreaths represent the township's ongoing commitment to honor the fallen Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Mayor Cohen introduces Guest Speaker Captain Joseph McGinnis, USMC Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Captain McGinnis tells a tale of heroism and sacrifice. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Scouts and cubs from 132 and 223 in East Brunswick Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Councilman Wendell and Mayor Cohen with the family of Jatin Khona, EBHS, '17, of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The East Brunswick Veterans Memorial, May 27, 2018 Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Assemblywoman Pinkin supporting those local residents who have enrolled in military schools Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The pride of East Brunswick High School's Class of 2017 - Ian Hou and Jatin Khona Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a rainy day in East Brunswick, Mayor Brad Cohen greeted guests, veterans, visitors, and community members in an annual event that honors the lives of those who sacrificed their lives for America and whose memory lingers in the hearts of those with whom they served.  The 2018 Memorial Day Observance was a solemn affair in which those left on to carry the legacy of fallen soldiers took a moment to pause and consider their service and devotion.

Following the official opening that included a parade of America's national flags by the US Naval Sea Cadets - Naval Weapons Station Earle Division, then cam the East Brunswick AMVETS Post #34, VFW Post #133 and the Auxiliary, the Vietnam Veterans of America, JWV Post #311, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, representatives of the East Brunswick Police and Fire Departments, the East Brunswick Community Chorus, and the Boy and Girl Scouts.

Cohen opened with accolades for those in attendance, talking specifically about how their service impacted the township:  "We wouldn't have this great school system and these great students without the sacrifice of veterans."  The mayor referred to a recent event he attended with Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) at which he cited the achievement of East Brunswick High School Class of 2017 graduate Jatin Khona, who has risen to the top of his class at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.  Cohen stressed the need for "scholar-soldiers" who combine the traits of "leadership, patriotism, scholarship, honor, and sacrifice." 

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Pastor Erica Munoz gave the invocation advising all present that, "We need to be constantly reminded of the gift of freedom....We must carry their love and honor and glory to future generations.  We are called to carry freedom high and proud."

The main speaker at the event was retired United State Marine Corps Captain Joseph McGinnis who told a story of heroism that occurred near Ramadi, Iraq, involving two Marines whose quick action and selflessness saved the lives of 50 of their fellow Americans and 100 Iraqi police.  "We who stand here are the lucky ones," he said, "We have served alongside the best."  McGinnis led the group in a moment of silence for "those who can't be with us today."  He encouraged those present to invert a plate and utensils at their Memorial Day meals as an acknowledgement of those who have been lost.

Rabbi Efryim Untermin echoed McGinnis's comments in his benediction: "In the Torah it says that saving a life is saving an entire world.  It is an act of absolute righteousness."  Untermin went on to quote Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, honoring those who "gave their last full measure of devotion." 

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