Point Boro Honors Vets at Memorial Day Ceremony
Wreath dedication held at Community Park
More than 150 people gathered in Point Borough's Community Park to honor veterans during a rainy Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday.
Mayor William Schroeder, Council President Antoinette DePaola, and councilmembers Chris Leitner and Bob Sabosik were present for the wreath ceremony, which was held privately beforehand due to weather.
To kick off the event, Pastor Ray Tate, of Life Chapel Church, led the invocation during the 11th annual Memorial Celebration.
"We gather to remember and honor all those who have sacrificed their lives for the United States of America," he said.
Student Gracie Enright next sang the national anthem, and moderator Bill Dikun declared Memorial Day as a day of remembrance.
Speaker John Dorrity, director of the Ocean County Veterans Bureau in Toms River and a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War, spoke about the importance of celebrating Memorial Day, every day.
"Forty-two years ago I flew into the Human Forest — any fellow Vietnam vet will know what that is. We went in with 65 (men) and came out with 16. There is not a day since that I don't think about it. I have my Memorial Day, every day."
"We can't forget the families of the dead, obviously, and we can't forget the families of the living," he said.
Schroeder thanked the veterans in attendance for their service, and then remembered his own family members who have served in World War II and Vietnam. In a choked up voice, he mentioned his brother, Fred, who served in Vietnam, in the Army Corps. of Engineers, who passed away a couple of years ago.
"The only thing that came to my mind was the family that I have," he said.
The sun broke through as the Point Pleasant High School Band played two musical selections.
Afterward, a moment of silence was held for the passing of several grand marshals.
Resident Charlie Hagen was then named the 2012 grand marshal and was honored with a plaque. He is a Korean War veteran.
Hagen recalled his family members who served, as well as a friend, Ed McNish, a former helicopter pilot, who passed away on Easter Sunday.
Two gun shots were fired while two trumpets played taps.
Pastor Tate concluded the ceremony with the benediction. "Nothing without any value comes with great sacrifice."