SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Two annual Memorial Day rememberance ceremonies were held in South Brunswick Township on May 28.

The first of the two festivities was held on Henderson Road at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9111 on Route 27 and Henderson Road in Kendall Park. The festivities were coordinated by Commander Robert Kelly on their front lawn.

The highlight of the morning event was a speech by Mayor Charles Carley as well as a rifle squad coordinated by Honor Guard Captain Rich Loehr, a salute to fallen officers. Many local figures including members of the Council and Board of Education attended the forty minute ceremony.

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The ceremonies were started by the National Anthem performed by Virginia Kraft, a drama teacher from South Brunswick High School. Kelly and the President of the Ladies Auxiliary, along with two scouts from Pack 98 and Boy Scout 90, presented the traditional wreath.

Kelly said, “the mission of Memorial Day is to reach out in support of all of the solders and their families who have sacrificed so much for us.”

The crowd also honored deceased members (from the last year) who were Tyrone Green Sr., Julian Kiss, Bruce Schipmann, Stephen Katko, Daniel Krushinski and former South Brunswick Mayor Christopher Killmurray.

Kelly said, “by their service on land, on sea and in the air, they (veterans) have made us their debtors, for the flag of our nation still flies over a land of free people.” 

The closing prayer was performed by Rabbi Mendy Carlebach of the Chabad Center of South Brunswick.

The second event of the day was sponsored by American Legion Post 401 on Major Road in Monmouth Junction and coordinated by Post Commander Gary Cooper.

The National Anthem was performed by Virginia Kraft aided by the South Brunswick High School Marching Band, some 60 members strong, under the direction of Donna Cardaneo.

Mayor Carley said that servicemen gave up their freedom to protect their country. He urged the youngsters assembled to “listen to your parents and their teachers.”

Commander Cooper said of veterans, “if you listen quietly, you can hear them. As the flag floats on a breeze you can hear their whisper, you will remember their laugh, their facial expressions, and their jokes."

Trumpeters Jedrick Maggino and Kelan Amme provided the traditional “Taps” following the presentation of the memorial wreath.

Rabbi Carlebach also provided the Invocation and closing Benediction.

South Brunswick Board of Education member Azra Baig said she was “very impressed by the participation of the many youngsters who attended the ceremony and the many that actually participated in the festivities."

Susan Santowasso, a retired teacher from Crossroads Middle School, was known for teaching her students a “word for the day.” At the festivities, when asked what the daily vocabulary word was, Santowasso responded, “patriotism."