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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Event Recap: Laval Tribute

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photos by Bonnie Corcoran

New Street Sign

On Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, the community of Rutherford participated in a Tribute to the Laval Family on Wheaton Place, where the Laval brothers were born and raised. The six Laval brothers served in World War II and returned home to Rutherford without receiving any recognition for their service to the country. This year, however, the Laval brothers were celebrated in a special Tribute that took place in front of their former home on 153 Wheaton Place.

The Tribute began with a warm welcome from the Borough Historian, Rod Leith. There were Remarks from Mayor Joseph DeSalvo, Jr., Commander Charles Gunn, Post 453, and Post Commander William D. Galloway, Jr., Post 453.

Representatives from U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s, U.S. Congressman William Pascrelll’s, and NJ Senator Paul Sarlo’s offices were also at the tribute to read resolutions, present certificates and read letters from the offices of Booker, Pascrell and Sarlo.

Gary Schaer, NJ Assemblyman

NJ Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Mayor DeSalvo, Jr., and representatives of the American Legion and Calvary Baptist Church also spoke at the Tribute.

In attendance were many of the Laval descendants who were introduced by Tyrone Laval. Family members of the Laval brothers read the biographies of each of the brothers. Those family members were: Joan Laval, Loven Isom, Corey Laval, Kheshan Burwell, Jenise Burwell, and Kimora Ling. Rod Leith explained, "Perhaps the greatest honor bestowed to the Laval veterans was the presence at the Memorial Day ceremony of at least three dozen of their descendants, some coming from as far away as Georgia and California. This, to me, was the 'icing on the cake.'"

Mayor DeSalvo announced that Wheaton Place would be renamed Laval Brothers Pl. Rod Leith spoke about the 153 Wheaton Place Plaque that was unveiled and presented to the Laval Family. There was a moment of silence for the brothers who have all passed away and the Benediction was led by Commander Charles Gunn, America Legion Post 453. At the conclusion of this special remembrance and tribute, Nazar Fedorko played “Taps”.

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