Township gives a solemn salute to its soldiers

| 01 Jun 2012 | 12:36

WEST MILFORD — West Milford Township honored its veterans Monday, in particular those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedoms, at its 68th annual Memorial Day observance.

Flags dotted the landscape and the sky was a clear, beautiful blue as the sounds of the West Milford High School band filled the air before the 10 a.m. ceremony. West Milford’s veterans were the guests of honor as many sat along the township’s monument, a spot usually reserved for the politicians and visiting dignitaries.

Mayor Bettina Bieri welcomed the large gathering, telling them she was deeply honored to be there to honor our veterans.

“I thank all of you for joining us on this Memorial Day,” said Bieri. “Veterans, community members, elected officials, emergency services personnel, volunteers, and family members gather here to honor our nation’s heroes and to show our respect, admiration and appreciation to our service men and women, especially our fallen heroes.”

Bieri reminded everyone of the sacrifices our military members still make and to recognize their service and sacrifice.

“Memorial Day is just one day out of an entire year when we honor these brave men and women who have died securing peace and freedom,” the mayor said. “They have sacrificed their dreams so that we may have our own dreams today, tomorrow and in the future. They have helped keep America a proud land of the free for over two centuries.”

Bieri rededicated the memorial by reading the inscription.

After the moving ceremony, veterans and community members, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts gathered and processed from the memorial to the American Legion. There, they were greeted with a barbecue, courtesy of the Legion.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and the hot, sunny weather was indeed a good beginning for the festivities of the day. But the true meaning of Memorial Day - honoring our veterans and especially those lost in preserving our freedom - was foremost on this day.