Irvington hosts annual Memorial Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony

Photo by Chris Sykes
Members of the Irvington High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Color Guard march up Springfield Avenue during the township’s annual Memorial Day Parade to the Military Park, where the wreath-laying ceremony was on Monday, May 28.

IRVINGTON, NJ — On Monday, May 28, Mayor Tony Vauss and the Irvington Municipal Council joined forces with the local public schools, the Irvington Board of Education and the entire community to host the annual Memorial Day Parade and a wreath-laying ceremony at the statues and monuments to the men and women from Irvington who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We’re here celebrating Memorial Day, honoring all our veterans who served in the many wars that this country has had and paying the proper respect due to all our veterans,” said Vauss on Monday, May 28. “It’s a community event and everyone in the community shares in the sentiments of our veterans, so we just look forward to this event every year. We need to do less talking and more doing, when it comes to supporting our veterans, and everyone needs to focus on the sacrifice that they gave, so that we could be here today.”

Vauss said it’s impossible to calculate the debt Americans owe to the men and women serving in the armed forces, often for granted.

“Someone once told me that freedom isn’t free,” said Vauss. “There’s a price for everything. And a lot of veterans paid the ultimate price for that.”

Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, who serves as the liaison to the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, was at this year’s Memorial Day activities. State Sen. Ron Rice, also a veteran, came out to show his respect and salute the township and the country’s honored dead.

Irvington Camptown VFW Post 1941 veterans Tyrone Powell and James Dawson said they appreciated the township’s collective effort on behalf of their fellow soldiers.

“I am the senior vice commander of Camptown Post 1941, located at 5658 Chestnut Ave. If you’re a veteran or family of veterans, come on by,” said Dawson on Monday, May 28. “I’m a former Air Force vet and I was a security specialist for four years. Memorial Day is to honor our dead, but we’re still alive and that’s a good thing.”

Powell said he’s a former U.S. Marine Corps member from the Vietnam era. He agreed with Dawson that, even though he honors his fellow soldiers that gave their lives for their country, they are glad to be alive.

“I was a ground pounder,” said Powell on Monday, May 28. “Veterans Day is for all veterans and Memorial Day is for those that died in the line of duty. It’s a good thing that we can celebrate both days.”