SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Crowds braved the cloudy skies and unseasonably cool temperatures on Sunday evening as Scotch Plains-Fanwood honored those who served in the armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Mayor Al Smith of Scotch Plains read proclamations lauding the service of three grand marshals: Edward Miller, Joe Nagy, and the late Alan Ebersole, who had accepted the honor before his unexpected passing earlier this month. Mayor Colleen Mahr of Fanwood recognized dignitaries and sponsors.

Music, including patriotic selections and songs of the World War II era were performed by the Full Count Big Band (Larry Puentes, director) and vocalist Rosa Nova. The band played "The Star Spangled Banner," Lee Greenwood's "Gold Bless the USA," and a medley of songs from each branch of the service. Additionally, moving letters from the front lines were read from Vietnam War veteran Joe McCourt, the 2016 grand marshal of the parade, Kevin Burns, an army staff sergeant during the Grenada conflict, and Vietnam veteran Earl Pavlik. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.