NUTLEY, NJ - During the Thursday, June 6 Board of Commissioners public meeting, a proclamation was presented to World War II veteran Alvin Baxter-Green, 96, of Nutley, for over 64 years of service to the township.
Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans announced that it was the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. “I think it’s important that we never forgot those that have served, those that have sacrificed for the freedoms that we enjoy today. […] It’s on us to remember the price of the freedom we enjoy, to never forget, not just them, but anybody who is serving in whatever the conflict and wherever is it is,” he said.
Baxter-Green was a sergeant in the 83rd Infantry Division. According to the proclamation he received numerous award and commendations including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, D-Day medal and the French Legion of Honor—the highest medal of merit awarded to a civilian by French Government.
In 1955 Baxter-Green joined Nutley Fire Department’s volunteer branch Hose Company 2. During his NFD volunteer time he also portrayed Santa Claus at the Company’s Santa Run and Pancake Breakfast and is still an active member. He has also volunteered with the Civic Celebration’s Committee and the Nutley Old Guard.
Baxter-Green was born on Oct. 19, 1922 in Taunton, Massachusetts. He married Lorena Munro in 1945.They have three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Mayor and Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli and the rest of the Board of Commissioners thanked the veteran for his military service and volunteer work for the community. “Not many of those greatest generations left,” said Scarpelli.
Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said, “Every day since I have been an elected official Al, no matter what the issue has been, you always came up to me with a smile on your face and shook my hand, and that’s respect and that’s being old school.”
Public Affairs Commissioner Steven L. Rogers saluted Baxter-Green. “Al, it’s always an honor to be in the presence of the greatest generation. Al, thank you so much for what you given this country for all these years,” he said.
Evans said, “Go out and celebrate […] Thank you for your service especially on today June 6—D-Day, the 75th anniversary of the invasion and your participation in that.”
A resolution was approved to appoint Michael Spagnuolo and Jose Rivera as the title of assistant chiefs to the volunteer branches of the Nutley Fire Department. Spagnuolo was appointed to Engine 2 Company Hose 2 and Rivera to Engine 3 Company Hose 1 effective June 6, 2019 until June 6, 2020.
The Board also thanked these volunteers for their service to the township. Petracco said, “It was “[Nutley Fire Chief Philip Nicolette’s] idea to bring this back to the commission meeting and recognize these people that are doing this job for free for us.”
Rogers said, “Extraordinary men in an extraordinary town and an extraordinary fire department.”
Scarpelli said, “Our volunteers are what make our town great and our volunteer firefighters especially.”
The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18.
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