Mayor Vic DeLuca called the Ceremony to order, and asked the Maplewood VFW Post 10120 Honor Guard to post the colors and the ceremonies were under way with all singing “The National Anthem”. Members of the color guard are: Ed Raymond, John Dilley, B. John Kaufman and Robert Calandra.
Following the Invocation delivered by Rev. Valencia Norman of the First Presbyterian and Trinity Church, South Orange, DeLuca spoke about Veterans Day and cited a few statistics – there are over 19 Million Veterans in the United States today including some 400 thousand in New Jersey alone. DeLuca pointed out that Memorial Day originated as Armistice Day on November 11 1919, on the first anniversary of the armistice ending WW I. The armistice occurred on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, and that’s the reason it continues to be observed at 11am on November 11th each year. The day is to thank all who served and all who passed in all the wars from that time forward. DeLuca also introduced Deputy Mayor Fran McGehee, Committeewoman Nancy Adams and Committeeman Dean Dafis. Mayor DeLuca at this point thanked Township Clerk Liz Fritzen for having made all the arrangements for the Ceremony and all the staff members for assisting in organizing and assisting throughout the ceremony and reception.
DeLuca then asked all who wished to say why they were present, either to mark their own service or that of a friend or relative. Among those who did was William Hilderbrand, 103 years old, who served in the Army in the 4th Armored Division und General Patton in 1944-1945 engaging in Germany, France and Belgium as part of four years of service. Among the others who spoke either about their own service or that of dear friends and/or family members were Jim Siblick, Shannon Cuttle, Sergeant Peter Klebaur and Det. Christopher Dolias (both veterans and members of the Maplewood Police Department) Nancy Adams and Mayor DeLuca whose 97 year old father was unable to be present. Throughout the ceremony the music and vocal was provided by Jay Dougherty, Vocal; Peter Carbonara, Guitar; Bill Tally, Piano and Fred Guterl, Trumpet. Committeewoman Adams also invited ALL the veterans present and those not present to join the VFW in Maplewood.
Included in the Rev. Norman’s Benediction was the words “We walk in Freedom because someone else has made it possible”. The flags were retired and Mayor DeLuca invited all to enjoy lunch in the lobby, arranged by Fritzen and served by various members of the staff.