Borough honors its Memorial Day casualties, celebrates life

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GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Along Ridgewood Avenue this past Monday, May 28, Glen Ridge held its annual Memorial Day Parade. Following this, wreaths were places at memorials for Glen Ridge servicemen who died in 20th-century wars. The names of the World War I casualties are on the grounds of Ridgewood Avenue School. Those who died in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, are across the street near the public library. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts placed the wreaths. Jim O’Grady, the parade coordinator for the Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge, which sponsors the event, told a large audience to remember that the people being honored once lived in their town and attended the same schools as their children. The Rev. Diana Wilcox, of Christ Episcopal, gave the invocation and benediction.

“Most gracious God,” she began, “you are known by many names, but you have made all people of one blood.”
She asked God to grant those in military service a sense of God’s presence. She prayed for world leaders to lead with wisdom.
“There is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another,” she said.

“Taps” was played, first on the lawn of the school, and then for a second time from the bluff near the library.
In her benediction, Wilcox asked for silence to remember the women and men now in military service.
“Those who have not served cannot understand war,” she said to break the silence.

She asked to again recall the dead and to remember their gifts — the courage of their dying and the fullness of their living.
“Ask that we not break faith with the fallen,” she concluded.

The names of the dead were then read by O’Grady. One women commented that many names, for such a small community as Glen Ridge, were read for those who died in WWII. She was right. The crowd was then invited to the train station, just across Bloomfield Avenue, for the annual barbecue.