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_5def9edacdbc60dc8170_100_8457

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

"Forever Green" Hike (10&up)

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_95e3d7dd242dd1aa94eb_lunar_new_year_library_2016

Sat, February 24, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Lunar New Year Celebration at Library

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink

Carousel_image_d7c7a8e8951f2fb58917_courtesy_of_morris_parks_-_pyramid_mountain_snowshoe_sundays

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, Montville Township

Snowshoe Sundays at Pyramid Mtn

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_f15a3596f4f9cf736afc_wizards

Sun, February 25, 5:00 PM

Montville Township High School, Montville

Harlem Wizards Fundraiser for Pathways

Education Food & Drink Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_f3bbfda3a9c7868672d6_img_0659

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club February Meeting

Government

Adults Who Interact With Teens Offered Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

February 24, 2018

With teenage suicide rates on an upswing, a barrage of tragedies in the news, and the heightened pressures of adolescence in a media-frenzied world, it’s more important than ever for caring adults to know how to intervene effectively.

Morris County again this year is funding Youth Mental Health First Aid training through NewBridge Services for adults who regularly interact with children ...

Boy Scout Michael Manetta Achieves Eagle Scout Ranking

February 11, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Members of Boy Scout Troop 74 gathered on Jan. 14 as Scout Michael Manetta was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor.

Officials such as members of the Montville Township Committee, the Montville Township Board of Education, former post commander Frank Warholic of VFW Post 5481, Dee Cook, who is treasurer of the Dog Park Advisory Committee and Fishawack ...

SHREK THE MUSICAL Comes to Montville Township High School

February 19, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ- SHREK THE MUSICAL is the spring production for the Montville Township High School Drama Club. The performers will stage the Tony Award-winning musical Thursday through Sunday, March 1 through 4 at MTHS. SHREK THE MUSICAL is based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie. Tickets to this fun family production are only $15 for adults and $12 for students and senior ...

Talking Baseball in Februrary; Roxbury Teen Keeps Swinging for Cancer Patients

February 24, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - Major League pitchers and catchers reported for their first workouts last week, one sign that baseball season is on its way. Another: The beginning of Roxbury High School student Landon Monro's annual effort to register players and sponsors for his anti-cancer baseball tournament.

The 5th Annual Landon Monro Stand Up to Cancer tournament ...

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...

Adults Who Interact With Teens Offered Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

February 24, 2018

With teenage suicide rates on an upswing, a barrage of tragedies in the news, and the heightened pressures of adolescence in a media-frenzied world, it’s more important than ever for caring adults to know how to intervene effectively.

Morris County again this year is funding Youth Mental Health First Aid training through NewBridge Services for adults who regularly interact with children ...

Columns

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting can have an ...

Ask the Care Advocate

Dear Heidi,

My mom lives home alone and a few days ago she fell while reaching for something

in her hallway closet. She was able to push her emergency alert button and they

called me. I live nearby so I went to check on her and she had pain in her leg and hip

area. We got her to the hospital and it turns out that she broke her hip. She had

surgery to repair it and now we are faced ...

Century 21 The Crossing Open Houses this Weekend

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

Saturday, Feb. 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

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

Sunday, Feb. 25 from 1 - 4 p.m. 

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
8 Summit Drive, Bld #10, North Caldwell

 

Another Luxury Listing in the Pond Section of Montville Presented by Century 21 The Crossing

MONTVILLE, NJ - Century 21 the Crossing and Jason Failla do it again!  Another luxury listing in the Pond section of Montville.

"This new listing has had over 13,000 views in less then a week," Century 21 The Crossing's Jason Failla said. "Anyone can list your home, it takes a comprehensive marketing strategy to sell it!"

"Luxury is in each ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Pet Corner