NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Rain couldn’t deter today’s Memorial Day Parade. Residents, clubs, teams, and other New Providence organizations gathered to celebrate those who have fallen during active service. After the parade, The American Legion Post 433 held a luncheon, providing traditional Memorial Day cooking, as well as a cupcake sale by the American Legion Volunteers in Service (A.L.V.I.S).
This year’s honorary Grand Marshal, Peggy Brodeur, attended the special event. Brodeur, a New Providence Resident for 38 years, was selected because of her enduring service to the New Providence community.
Brodeur has dedicated 22 years of service to The Borough of New Providence, from 1993 to 2015, when she decided to retire. She has held a host of important part-time positions in town, that equal to more than a full-time commitment. Some of those positions included Community Service Association Social Worker, Housing Officer Welfare Case Worker, and Senior Coordinator.
“Working with people in the community to solve any problems and make them feel better, are my favorite moments,” explained Brodeur and she helps those in need without any expectations of rewards in return, which is why she was stunned when she found out she was selected to be the Grand Marshal in April.
When Brodeur was bestowed the honor of being this year’s Grand Marshal she exclaimed, “Are you kidding me!"
Brodeur is heavily involved with the American Legion. Spearheading the “Thank You Veteran Lunch,” which started on November 11, 2011. The significance of the date “11/11/11” did not escape her, and she quickly worked with local restaurants to donate food, and the Wharton Music Center in Berkeley Heights to provide music. The lunch has occurred every year since, except 2012, when Superstorm Sandy occurred.
Becoming Grand Marshal could not have come at a more opportune moment for Brodeur, about a month prior, she learned her father's brother, Robert H. Presley, served in World War I, as an enlisted Infantryman in France. Afterwards, Presley moved to California, where he joined the Veterans Of Foreign Wars (VFW), and was Post Commander. In the process of learning this exciting news about her uncle, Brodeur also found several pins, including an American Legion Post Commander pin, that could potentially be over 70 years old.