WESTFIELD, NJ — Vietnam veteran Peter Braun will serve as the grand marshal of this year’s Memorial Day parade in Westfield, the parade committee has announced. The parade will take place May 29.
Born in Philadelphia, Braun moved to Westfield with his family in 1948. He played football at Westfield High School, graduating in 1961, and at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1966.
As a key member of the West Point football team, Braun is most proud of Army’s win against Navy in the 1964 Army Navy game, according to the parade committee. The Navy Team was led by its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Roger Staubach. This stunning victory by Army made headlines across the country. Five of the Army starters played both offense and defense. The game is memorialized in a 2014 book by Nicolaus Mills, “Every Army Man is with You,” about the men who made it happen and their path from the gridiron to the Vietnam War then home again.
Braun served at Fort Carson in Colorado and then went to Quang Tri Province in Vietnam where he was an adviser to the South Vietnam Military. In his final year in the service he became an assistant football coach at West Point.
After serving his country, he left the service in 1970 at the rank of Captain to start his civilian career.
Braun currently lives in Mountainside with his wife of 12 years, Lucille. His brother, Michael, is an attorney in Chicago and his sister, Shelley, is a retired school teacher in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He has three children: Christina, Lindsey and Heather.
Braun began his career in institutional equities with Bear Stern where he focused on national money managers. He retired from there in 2010 as a managing director. He is currently associated with Financial Capital Management in business development.
“I am deeply humbled to be selected as this year’s Grand Marshal honoring the men and women veterans who made the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms we, Americans, hold so dearly,” he said.
Opening ceremonies for the parade will begin Monday, May 29, at 9 a.m. with services at the World War I Veterans Memorial Monument at North Avenue and East Broad Street Plaza. Participants are asked to meet in the Lord & Taylor West parking lot by 8 a.m.
After opening ceremonies, the parade will march north on East Broad Street, straight up to Fairview Cemetery where the Veterans of Foreign Wars will have closing ceremonies.
Soft drinks will be available for all participants at Fairview Cemetery after conclusion of the parade.
All Westfield organizations are invited to march in this year’s parade. The parade committee is urging organizations and individuals to march in the parade, sponsor a wreath to be placed at the monument or make a financial contribution to the parade committee to help offset the costs of running the parade. The Westfield Memorial Day Parade is sponsored by the American Legion Martin Wallberg Post #3 and the Town of Westfield.
The parade committee would like to honor the memories of veterans of all wars who have died since last Memorial Day.
For more information or to have someone included, contact Stan at 908-233-2767 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To memorialize a veteran, include the person's name, branch of service and conflict, such as WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm or action in the Far East.