Government

Montville's War Hero Speaks at Morris County Memorial Day Commemoration

5108acc64c9dbaba141b_a_Sgt._Hjalmar_Johansson_salutes.JPG
Sgt. Hjalmar Johansson salutes Credits: Melissa Benno
aab0aee42dbc89e5d450_a_Freeholders_Doug_Cabana__Hank_Lyon_and_Tom_Mastrangelo__Hjalmar_Johansson__and_Freeholder_Deb_Smith.JPG
Freeholders Doug Cabana, Hank Lyon and Tom Mastrangelo, Hjalmar Johansson; Freeholder Deb Smith.JPG Credits: Melissa Benno
f688809ddad642ae7eee_a_Medal_Recipients.JPG
Medals awarded. Louis Bodian, Eugene Lemoncelli, Paul Vico, Kenneth Gorman, Christopher Orr, Loris Clarke, George Brisco; Seated: John McDermott Credits: Melissa Benno
885e517f842cebcbad1a_a_freeholder_Cabana__Courtesy_of_Morris_County.JPG
Freeholder Director Doug Cabana Credits: Courtesy of Morris County
9a7098757b47b66e781a_a_Montville-based_Freeholders_Hank_Lyon__Tom_Mastrangelo__and_WWII_hero_Hjalmar_Johansson.JPG
Montville-based Freeholders Hank Lyon, Tom Mastrangelo, and WWII hero Hjalmar Johansson Credits: Melissa Benno
e9627b7cfca05539f8ac_a_Hjalmar_Johansson_addresses_the_crowd.JPG
Hjalmar Johansson addresses the crowd Credits: Melissa Benno
9418faa5fd1661183462_a_Honored_veterans.JPG
Honored veterans Credits: Melissa Benno
15b8d994b0c639a3e397_a_Lakeview_School_Select_Chorus__Denville__Courtesy_of_Morris_County.jpg
Lakeview School Select Chorus, Denville Credits: Courtesy of Morris County
79c101cf0e2d3abcdcfc_a_Marine_Corps_Color_Guard__Picatinny_Arsenal.JPG
Marine Corps Color Guard, Picatinny Arsenal Credits: Melissa Benno
f9cd6f394209cb9bc64d_a_Members_of_the_Morris_County_Freeholder_Board.JPG
Members of the Morris County Freeholder Board Credits: Melissa Benno
40acc80b214e23039bc3_a_Morris_County_Memorial_Day_commemoration_1.JPG
Morris County Memorial Day commemoration Credits: Melissa Benno
1c2b00d9f5354b686f54_a_Morris_County_Memorial_Day_commemoration_2.JPG
Morris County Memorial Day commemoration Credits: Melissa Benno
1d03175ef0cb8c55cf27_a_Sgt_Hjalmar_Johansson_shakes_John_McDermott_s_hand.JPG
Sgt Hjalmar Johansson shakes John McDermott's hand Credits: Melissa Benno
7475c90ef9c5cc9f2781_a_Sgt._Hjalmar_Johansson_addresses_the_crowd_at_the_Morris_County_Memorial_Day_commemoration.JPG
Sgt. Hjalmar Johansson addresses the crowd at the Morris County Memorial Day commemoration Credits: Melissa Benno
8dca59ab6593278d75af_a_The_Morris_County_Courthouse.JPG
The Morris County Courthouse Credits: Melissa Benno
5108acc64c9dbaba141b_a_Sgt._Hjalmar_Johansson_salutes.JPG

MONTVILLE, NJ – Montville Township resident and World War II hero Hjalmar Johansson was the featured speaker at the Morris County Memorial Day Commemoration and veterans’ medals’ event on May 24, sponsored by the Morris County Board of Freeholders.

The event, held on the lawn of the Morris County Courthouse, was opened by Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

“Since the Revolutionary War, more than a million American soldiers have lost their lives protecting our nation and protecting those freedoms that we have been so privileged to enjoy,” Cabana said.

Sign Up for E-News

“Throughout history, members of our military have selflessly answered our nation’s call and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice in protecting us both here in the United States and around the world with courage, determination and pride.”

Johansson then spoke with a reminder about the long weekend.

“First, I’d like to say what Memorial Day is all about,” Johansson said. “It’s not about sales, selling cars, or hot dog eating contests. It’s about something much more important than that. It’s about so many brave men and women who passed away, who we are here to honor for their sacrifice.

“Just imagine if we had not won World War II. Imagine what you would be thinking about doing right now. You wouldn’t be thinking about getting in your car – you might not have one, because the Germans would be in charge. Let’s imagine that the Germans and the Japanese beat us, and we’re all registered as ‘Alien Enemy.’ We probably wouldn’t have a car to drive. We wouldn’t have a home. We would have a number – we would be restricted.

“I just did a little bit in my contribution – more was done to me than I did to anyone else,” he said.

Johansson then spoke about his harrowing experience as a prisoner of war during World War II for five months, after being shot down and crashing in Austria. He was the nose gunner in a B-24 bomber on a mission to destroy a Polish oil refinery. He spent time in solitary confinement, was sent by train to a prisoner of war camp, and spent five months there, at Stalag 3A.

“We were given a cup and a spoon,” he said. “We didn’t have a fork or knife – what did we have to cut? They just dished out with a ladle what they called food. That’s how I lost 40 pounds in five months.”

At the end of his ordeal, sailing back into New York Harbor and sighting the Statue of Liberty, Johansson said, “You only know what liberty is until after you’ve lost it.”

The county freeholders also honored eight veterans with special Distinguished Service Medals. 

Medals were presented to:

  • Louis Bodian, Morristown, U.S. Army, 1969-71
  • George Briscoe, Budd Lake, U.S. Navy. 2001-2004
  • Loris Clarke, Kenvil, U.S. Army, 1992-95
  • Kenneth Gorman, Mount Hope, U.S. Air Force, 1965-71
  • Eugene Lemoncelli, Dover, U.S. Marine Corps, 1954-57
  • John McDermott, Denville, U.S. Army, 1946-47
  • Christopher Orr, Wharton, U.S. Army, 1974-89
  • Paul Vico, Morris Plains, U.S. Army, 1969-70

McDermott, who served in Japan at the conclusion of World War II, also received his long-awaited federal medals, the World War II Victory Medal and Army of Occupation–Japan medal. McDermott had long been eligible for the medals but had never received them after service, possibly due to bureaucratic snafu, according to a release from the county. His daughter contacted Morris County Veterans’ Office last year and they contacted the Army and arranged to have the medals sent to her, the release stated.

The ceremony featured the Marine Corps Color Guard, Golf Co, 2nd Battalion, 25th Regiment from Picatinny Arsenal; the Morris County Sheriff’s Department Color Guard; an invocation by Rev. Sydney Williams, Bethel AME Church, in Morristown; and patriotic songs by the Lakeview School Select Chorus of Denville.

Bagpipes were played by Sergeant Matt Potter and Captain Robert McNally of the Prosecutor’s office, and the wreath laying featured retired County Veterans’ Services Officer Charles Jurgensen and Gary Zakrzeski.

To read more of Hjalmar Johansson’s story, click: Cedar Hill appearance and Library appearance

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e492d1a3d67e6259323d_mini_magick20180611-78505-11feoem

Thu, June 21, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

"The American Musical" (Lecture)

Education

Carousel_image_a52b10eeaf4faec89297_a_pyramid_mountain__2018_tapinto_montville___1.

Thu, June 21, 7:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Summer Solstice Hike: moderate

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7c2707407169c2f1629c_library_by_courtney_sonn

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Library - Summer Reading Kickoff (Kids)

Education

Carousel_image_ccf612db2e8a23ffc851_casa

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Health & Wellness Law & Justice

Carousel_image_a4f056c118bacf9c0109_dsc01420_-_copy

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Gardening with Wildflowers

Home & Garden

Summer Concert Series Announced by Montville Twp Recreation

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Recreation Department announced its summer concerts in the park lineup. The free concerts will be held on Tuesdays beginning on July 10, at the amphitheater beyond the Montville Township Public Library. Parking is available at the library (90 Horseneck Road) or in the high school parking lot (100 Horseneck Road). Assistance is available, for those who ...

Three Montville Teens Attain Eagle Scout Ranking

June 9, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Three Boy Scouts from Montville Township’s Troop 74 attained their Eagle Scout ranking at their Court of Honor, held on May 5 at the Senior House.

Keith Lo, Harish Rajagopal and Charles J. Roy all completed tasks around the township, which combined with the projects of other Eagle Scouts, have saved tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, Township Administrator ...

May the Fourth Results in Donations to Lung Cancer Foundation from Cedar Hill Character Education Group

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Cedar Hill Fifth Grade Character Education Council sponsored May The 4th Be With You on Friday May 4 from in the Cedar Hill multi-purpose room. The event was to benefit the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. To raise money, each participant paid $5 for a Star Wars-themed scorecard. Upon completion of all events, scorecards were put in a raffle for a Star Wars video ...

Roxbury's Kellie Ann Keyes Named the County's Recycling "Rox-Star"

June 18, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – Kellie Ann Keyes, who runs Roxbury's recycling program was honored recently by Morris County for her efforts, with the county dubbing her its “Rox-Star Recycler.”

Keyes was one of 10 people and businesses to receive a 2018 Environmental Excellence Award from the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA). The MUA gave her the award in ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down After Fight; Report of Shots Fired

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

TAPinto will update this as more information becomes available.

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - No ...

RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties New Listings

June 20, 2018

Click HERE to see all New Listings.

Columns

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/9 - 6/10 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  25 Hillcrest Road, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  1 Philhower Court, Denville

   Click HERE to see full ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 9 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
7 Diann Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 10 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis ...

Pet Corner