IRVINGTON, NJ — The Irvington public schools and the Irvington High School Junior ROTC once again proved to be the perfect partners an official township occasion when they turned out in full force to participate in the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28.
“We’ve got to get out and support the community, support the good causes, such as Memorial Day,” said Chancellor Avenue School Principal Winston Jackson on Monday, May 28. “I think it’s correct that Veterans Day is for veterans that are still alive and Memorial Day is for people that served in the armed forces that died in the line of duty. Their ultimate sacrifice is what it’s all about and many of us are unwilling to do that today, so those individuals who’ve done that, we appreciate them greatly.”
Major Monroe, the senior Army instructor of the local JROTC, agreed with Jackson, adding that, as an active duty U.S. Army Reserve officer, it was his pleasure and duty to march in the annual Memorial Day activities.
“This is a yearly event that we come out every Memorial Day, to show support and show Irvington pride,” said Monroe on Monday, May 28. “It’s an honor to really share and allow the young ones to see and feel what I have been through. Since 1970, I have been in the military. Hopefully, another two years, I’ll be retired, and I’ll still be able to come back and enjoy this occasion. It means a lot to me, because I have many friends that have been killed in battle and it still brings that memory of them back to me and we just have to thank them, because their service and sacrifices allowed us to be free today. On this day, bless America and bless the world.”
Mayor Tony Vauss and the Irvington Municipal Council joined forces with the JROTC, Irvington schools and the township to host the annual Memorial Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony at the monuments to the local men and women who died in service to their country.
“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 owed to the men and women serving in the armed forces, and those who gave their lives to protect and ensure Americans’ rights and freedoms.
“Someone once told me that freedom isn’t free,” said Vauss on Monday, May 28. “There’s a price for everything. And a lot of veterans paid the ultimate price for that.”
Irvington Councilwoman Charnette Frederic echoed his sentiments.
“It is an honor to be here celebrating and remembering our heroes that fought and died for us,” said Frederic on Monday, May 28. “As we’ve always heard, ‘freedom is not free,’ because we have to remember all of those that fought for us and I hope, every day, we remember our veterans fighting for us, and all the wars that have happened in the past and the conflicts going on around the world today. When it comes to me, it’s never about war; it’s always about love. We should all love one another. But with that being said, I’m honored to be a part of the township of Irvington that always does an amazing job every year remembering our veterans.”
Sgt. Major Ammon Moore of the N.J. Army National Guard thanked all who came out to the parade and at the wreath-laying ceremony.
“I was honored to be asked to participate in the parade,” said Moore on Monday, May 28. “I’ve been in the military for 26 years and I will say that I’ve been in Irvington since 2003 … I plan on being affiliated in some way every year, from here on out, every year that I’m here.”