BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Following a short march from the Town Hall, Veterans Day was observed at the Miles A. Saurez War Memorial in Bloomfield on Friday, Nov. 11. Soldiers stood at attention and flags billowed while an audience of 70, including uniformed Bloomfield first responders, stood quietly in gusting winds to recognize those who have served in the armed forces.
Missing was the drum beat and bright pomp of the Bloomfield High School Band plus the harmony of the school’s choral group, the Madrigals. This loss was due to the teachers’ convention and township public schools being closed. But a bugler, BHS senior Seanna LaBudde, played “Taps ” and Elaina Frissell sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The opening prayer was given by the Rev. Lukasz Rokita, of the Sacred Heart Church.
Rokita asked God to heal the physical and emotional wounds of soldiers who have been injured by battle.
“Show them miracles as they strive to regain wholeness,” he said.
The master of ceremonies was Joe Ellmer, chairman of the Joint Bloomfield Memorial Day Committee, which oversees Veterans and Memorial day observations.
“Do we have any high schoolers here except for our bugler?” he asked.
There was no response.
Mayor Michael Venezia reminded everyone that veterans should be thanked every day, and Allen Garth, the commander of Bloomfield VFW Post 711, said it seems that World War II has little significance anymore.
“What we do remember is D-day,” he said. Garth then read the address the leader of the Allied military forces, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, gave to his troops before they crossed the English Channel, to invaded Europe and gain a foothold against Nazi Germany.
“You are about to embark on the Great Crusade towards which we have striven these many months,” he began.
“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely,” he continued.
“And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking,” he said, to end the address.
Because the high school band and singers did not perform, the ceremony was shorter than usual. Ellmer spoke in conclusion. He said that in 2017 Veterans Day will be on a Saturday.
“Next year we won’t have the high school band here either,” he said. “Maybe we can talk them into it.”