WESTFIELD, NJ - The annual Westfield Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for Monday, May 28, 2018. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. at the World War I Monument Circle.
Participating organizations marching in the parade are requested to be at the Lord & Taylor West parking lot by 8 a.m. where line of march positions will be assigned.
Opening ceremonies will have remarks by Allan Betau, past commander of the Westfield American Legion Martin Wallberg Post #3. Allan will reflect on this year’s 100-year anniversary of the ending of World War I. Allan will announce a planned tribute on Sept. 13, 2018, by the Genealogical Society of West Field to “The Boys of ‘17” and the ending of WW1. The GSWF is researching the families of these soldiers. Further information is available through Nancy Humphrey at (908) 612- 6029. Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle will express her thoughts on the importance of Memorial Day.
Bob D’Arecca, chaplain for Post #3, will offer the opening prayer and benediction.
Kerry Stubs will sing an a cappella rendition of “God Bless America.” Kerry offers private singing lessons and can be reached at (908) 499-4020.
The Westfield High School Chorale Group conducted by John Brzozowski, will sing the “Star Spangled Banner”. The Westfield High School Marching Band, led by Chris Vitali, will play patriotic music along the parade route.
Dr. Ted Schlosberg from the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts will play Taps. As a special tribute to our veterans, Dr. Schlosberg is requesting that any veteran who plays an instrument or who would like to learn to play should contact the NJWA to set up a schedule for free lessons. Dr. Schlosberg would like to create a musical ensemble with veterans.
Wreaths will be sponsored by the American Legion, Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion. Larry Sheldon, a Westfield resident, is sponsoring a wreath from the U.S. Coast Guard which will be presented by members of the Girl Scouts. The Westfield PAL and the Westfield Boosters will be presenting wreaths honoring our veterans.
During the ceremonies there will be a series of bell tolls echoing from the bell tower of the First United Methodist Church. Jack Panosh, Westfield bell master and town clock curator, will coordinate the ringing. He will also be riding through the parade route with the Town Bell.
The gun volleys at the opening ceremony will be performed by members of “The Fighting 69th Regiment New York State Volunteers.” The 69th was the first regiment of the famed Irish Brigade of the Union Army during the Civil War. Today, members use authentic uniforms and equipment to accurately portray the soldiers as they were in 1862.
This year’s grand marshal, Teddy Grossi, with a contingent of Veterans will lead the parade. The mayor, town council and members of the board of education will follow.
Participating this year will be various civic groups including the Westfield Neighborhood Council. The Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Public Works, Girl Scouts, Brownies, Boy and Cub Scouts will also be part of our tribute to Veterans.
In keeping with the spirit of Memorial Day the parade committee will honor 3 Westfield veterans and their families with a unique tie to the town. Each of the three families had a member who served during World War II in the U.S. Navy and each of the families, at different times, lived in the same house at 3 Stanley Oval, an Edwardian foursquare home built in the early 1900s.
George J. Morgan Jr. was a Navy pilot who was missing in action off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, Richard Lagreze, a Lieutenant who commanded the minesweeper U.S.S. Minivet in 1945 and finally, William J MacRichie who served on the U.S.S Price.
A plaque was recently installed on Stanly Oval honoring Lt. Morgan for his service with the inscription “A COOL, RESOURCEFUL AND HIGHLY COURAGEOUS PILOT.” The parade route will pass Stanley Oval and a brief stop will be made as the veterans salute these 3 brave sailors.
After the opening ceremonies, the parade line of march will be directed by Barbara Verdic. Parade line of march will be North on East Broad and ends at Fairview Cemetery where a final ceremony by the American Legion at the Civil War section will take place.
Music during the parade will be the Westfield High School Band directed by Chris Vitali. The “Blue Devils” have won numerous regional, state and national competitions. The Westfield Community Band will keep the marchers “in step” with a variety of patriotic music. This band, established in 1912, is among the longest standing community bands in the country.
The parade committee thanks the management of Lord & Taylor in Westfield for allowing us to use their parking lot to assemble the parade marchers.
After the parade there will be a BBQ at The American Legion Post on the corner of Crossway and North Avenue. All are welcome.
In the event of poor or questionable weather on the day of the parade please call (908) 233-2767 for an outgoing message and instruction.