FANWOOD, NJ - The second annual “Tribute to Fallen Heroes” Memorial Day Concert was held Sunday evening under blue skies on the lawn of the Fanwood Train Station where around 300 residents of Fanwood and Scotch Plains gathered with their families and lawn chairs to enjoy the performance by the Westfield Community Band.
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr welcomed everyone and then introduced the various dignitaries on the podium, including Congressman Rush Holt, Senator Nick Scutari, Assemblywoman Linda Stender, Freeholder Al Mirabella, Councilman Tony Parenti and Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover.
Mayor Mahr and Mayor Glover worked together to create the first annual concert and it was so successful it was decided to continue with the Concert as an annual event.
“It was Abraham Lincoln who said that any nation that did not honor its heroes would not long endure,” said Mayor Glover. “We are here to night to honor our fallen heroes.”
The Westfield Community Band, led by Director Dr. Thomas Connors, played many patriotic favorites, interspersed with readings and several solos from soprano Ashley Kraus.
In one of the readings, Mary Jo Rice Mahoney, who was a Colonel in the Army during the Vietnam Way, read a letter from a mother of a fallen soldier by the name of Jimmy. “I am going to Washington D.C. to see you, but all I can see is your name carved in black granite…Your picture can’t talk back. Part of me died with you.” The passage went on to outline the depth of despair this mother felt when she lost her twenty year old son to the Vietnam War.
The concert concluded with The Stars & Stripes forever, a fitting ending to a concert for Fallen Heroes.
Other Memorial Day events:
Fanwood Memorial Service, 9 am at the Fanwood Library
Memorial Day Parade begins at 10:45 at the corner of Park Avenue and Front Street in Scotch Plains and will continue to Fanwood and end in LaGrande Park.