BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield observed Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 11. The date also marked the centennial of the end of World War I when the armistice was signed.
A small contingent of marchers, trailing a color guard, led a small brigade of police and firemen and fire engines making their way from Town Hall to the Miles A. Saurez VFW Post 711 memorial on Broad and Franklin streets. Among the marchers were Mayor Michael Venezia, councilmen Nicholas Joanow, Rich Rockwell and Ted Gamble, and Essex County Freeholder Carlos Pomares, a former township councilman.
At the memorial to the war dead, the ceremony was attended by fewer people than in recent years perhaps owing to it being a Sunday morning. Presiding over the ceremony was Korean War veteran and past VFW Post 711 commander Joseph Ellmer.
“It was cold last year and it’s cold this year,” Ellmer said. “Maybe next year, we’ll have it indoors.”
“The Star-Spangled Banner” was then beautifully sung by Shannon Bretz.
Venezia noted that it was the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. He said the war helped to define the U. S.
“One thing we are proud of in the township is that many of our police and fire personnel are veterans,” he said. “Thank you and thank you to all veterans.”
Ellmer thanked the Bloomfield Recreation Department for setting up for the observance and for presenting him with the Bloomfield Outstanding Citizen Award on July 4, this year.
He then spoke from an unidentified text. It said, in part: “We are assembled here to pay tribute to our veterans. When the call of our country was heard, they answered. Self was forgotten in the cause of the greater good. As brave veterans, they marched with the abiding faith in their God, country and flag. The red of our country’s flag was made redder by their heroism; the white more stainlessly pure by the motives that impelled them and in the starry field of our nation’s glorious banner; the blue has been glorified by the service they have given for American ideals. The march of our veterans is over and they lieth down in the house appointed to all living.”
Ellmer called attention to a Memorial Day project of Bloomfield High School. The school hopes to buy 4,000 flags for a display on the school lawn. Ellmer asked if anyone wanted to speak, but no one did. He played a tape recording of “Taps” while he and the other veterans saluted the flag. Ellmer thanked everyone for coming out and the small crowd disbanded, some going to the Bloomfield Fire Department fire house for coffee and donuts, a tradition on Veterans Day.