SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ --  American Legion Post 209 and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFM) 10122 hosted the annual Veterans Day ceremonies in Scotch Plains and Fanwood on Monday, Nov. 11. The presentation included with the laying of wreaths at the Veterans Monument (corner of Park Ave. and Front Street) in Scotch Plains and at the Fanwood Memorial Library. 

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance. Veterans Day became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

Joe McCourt, a Vietnam veteran who has led the ceremonies for the past few years, provided some personal insights.

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"On Veterans Day, I am filled with pride in what veterans have done for this country. I challenge you to name another group of Americans who have done more," McCourt said. "America is still the most envied nation in the world. We are still the world standard for our freedom, enterprise and opportunity."

"America’s veterans deserve a significant portion of the credit for the America we enjoy today," McCourt added. "I am proud of these United States, and I am proud of the veterans who served and sacrificed to build and protect this nation."

During his remarks, McCourt took time during the ceremony to honor surviving World War II veterans. 

"They are disappearing at the rate of some 275 each day. This means there are only 389,000 veterans remaining of the 16 million who served our nation in World War II," McCourt said. "We truly owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. This “Greatest Generation” saved the world from tyranny. Then they returned home to build the land of prosperity and opportunity we all enjoy today."

The Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood have honored local vets and those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces with Hometown Heroes banners along the lampposts on Park Ave., Martine Ave., Front Street, South Ave., and other streets. The banners have proved tremendously popular. 

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