Veterans Day: In Honor of All Who Served

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Parsippany-Troy Hills Council President Michael dePierro and Mayor Michael Soriano

PARSIPPANY — Mother nature must love our Veterans as she provided a perfect day for Parsippany to honor those veterans with a proud, moving, and respectful celebration, always held on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to note the armistice between the U.S. led Allied nations and Germany at the end of World War I.

A great crowd of approximately 150 veterans, families and friends came out to participate in the observances

A great crowd of approximately 150 veterans, families, and friends came out to participate in the observances. Also in attendance were County Clerk Ann F. Grossi, Mayor-elect James R. Barberio, Councilwomen Loretta Gragnani, Councilman Paul Carifi, Councilman-elect Justin Musella.

Council President Michael J. dePierro, a veteran, did a great job officiating over the ceremony, proudly wearing his service cap and a VFW jacket. Presentation of Colors by the Color Guards of both the American Legion Post 249 and VFW Post 10184 was an impressive start, followed by an invocation by Pastor Jeff Edwards of the United Methodist Church of Parsippany, the National Anthem, beautifully sung by Parsippany resident, Aimee Beth Wolosin. The pledge of allegiance, led by Parsippany Councilman Paul Carifi followed, Councilman DePierro made his introductory remarks and introduced Parsippany Mayor Michael A. Soriano.

The mayor’s welcoming address was warm and sincere and truly captured the moment. Most notable was his genuine pride and admiration as he recounted some of his 94-year-old grandfather’s experiences as a veteran of the Korean War, and as a man whose life was shaped by those experiences and hardships. It was evident that his grandfather, Pablo Melendez, who the mayor described as a tough but kind man, was certainly a great influence on our mayor. The speech was received with an appreciative ovation by the assembled crowd.

After some brief remarks by Navy Veteran and Military Veteran Liaison Willy Tolba, who was representing Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, the Parsippany High School Choir provided a rousing rendition of “God Bless America.”

The solemn but beautiful, Laying of the Wreaths”, came next following a “Prayer of Remembrance” by Rabbi Moshe Rudin of the Congregation Adath Shalom. Parsippany resident Jeff Dickerson fired off one Canon Salute and Emily Young, a Parsippany High School student, played Taps, followed with our High School Choir performing the Coast Guard Hymn: Semper Paratus.

As he does every Veterans Day, Councilman DePierro read a poem that perfectly fits this occasion; “Just a Common Soldier,” a touching and moving tribute to all our veterans.

As the ceremony approached its conclusion, the crowd was treated to a beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by Parsippany resident Michele Musolino. Rev. Donald A. Bragg, Pastor at Parsippany Presbyterian Church, gave the Benediction. Councilman dePierro concluded the ceremonies with the “Retirement of Colors,” again by American Legion Post 249 VFW Post 10184.

Remember Veterans Day is a day to express gratitude to America’s service members, past and present, who served in both war and peace. It is important to celebrate this occasion to honor those veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.