NEWTON, NJ—The Town of Newton gathered, despite the threatening rain, on Spring Street to honor those heroes who have fallen in the Annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony on Monday, May 30.

The residents lined up wearing red, white, and blue, waving American Flags in honor of those who gave their lives so that they might be able to live free.

The parade, although light this year, included:

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  • Town Crier- Bill Joseph
  • Newton Police Chief Michael Richards
  • Color Guard- Newton Boy Scout Troop 85
  • Cub Scout Pack 85
  • Veterans: WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War
  • Newton VFW Post 5360 & Newton American Legion Post 86
  • Newton VFW Ladies Auxiliary & American Legion Ladies Auxiliary
  • Grand Marshalls: Verney Sipley, WWII & Andrew P. McLean, Vietnam
  • Poppy Queen- Susanne Hontz
  • Newton High School Band
  • Mayor Daniel Flynn & Councilman Wayne Levante
  • Mirage Productions- DeLoreans
  • Little Miss Newton- Zariah Moore
  • Miss Newton, Amelia Macchietto
  • Re-enactors
  • Girl Scout Troop 5688
  • Boy Scout Troops
  • 200 Club
  • Model A’s Cars
  • Christ Community Church- Celebrate Recovery & Community Outreach
  • Newton Fire Department
  • Andover Township Fire Department
  • Newton First Aid Squad

The many parade goers followed the line of fire trucks down to Memory Park, where the annual Memorial Day Ceremony began, just in time for the blazing sun to come out.

Mark Hontz, Master of Ceremonies began the ceremony, along with Walt Kuntz, commander at the American Legion Post 86, by welcoming all those in attendance.

The National Anthem was played by the Newton High School Band, while cold water was being distributed by members of the Christ Community Church.

The Memorial Day Ceremony was held in honor of Kenneth R. Benson, a Marine who received a Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of Chosen Reservoir in 1950 and Hector A. Cafferata, Jr., also a Marine, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Chosen Reservoir.

Benson and Cafferata remained friends throughout the years, until their deaths. Their families met for the first time ever during Newton’s Memorial Day Parade Ceremony in honor of their fathers.

Reverend Frank Leone of the Christ Community Church read the invocation, followed by the reading of General Logan’s Order of the Day, by Thomas and Nathaniel Hontz, students at Kittatinny High School.

Deputy Mayor, Sandra Diglio, who puts together the entire parade every year was in attendance along with Freeholder Carl Lazzaro and Jon Connolly, the new President of Sussex County Community College.

Boy Scout, Jessie Germano, read the Gettysburg Address, Poppy Queen, Suzanne Hontz, read a recitation of Flander’s Fields, and Grand Marshall, Andrew McLean read the Memorial Day Address.

Frank Smith, the Commander of the Newton VFW Post #5360 and the Newton VFW Ladies Auxiliary conducted the Memorial Service as names of those who gave their lives this past year were read aloud by Mark Hontz.

The Hontz family played the song “Nearer My God to Thee”, as Smith read aloud the words for everyone to hear, of the most recognizable song, “Taps”.

The Newton High School Band played a “Salute to Freedom” and “God Bless America”, while the Newton High School Honors Choir closed out the ceremony with “God Bless the USA”. 

Tap into Newton wants to thank all those who served and gave their lives for our freedom, as well as their families. As the “Memorial Day” poem by Jack Tripp, recited by Mark Hontz says, “But remember this to be true, all gave some, some gave all.”