Veterans Day Observance 2021
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credits: Jennifer Ersalesi
Veterans gathered in front of the World War I monument, located in the center of the traffic circle between the Post Office and Public Library, to observe Veterans Day on Thursday, November 11th. The Observance was hosted by the Rutherford Veterans Alliance. This particular Veterans Day also marked the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1. The bells tolled at 11 am to honor the Veterans.
John Krysenowksi, Commander of Veteran Foreign War Post 227, led the program. Robert Hansen, Commander of American Legion Post 453, gave the opening prayer.
While standing in front of the World War I monument, Krysenowski spoke about the dedication and sacrifice of all veterans who placed their country above themselves. The Observance continued in Lincoln Park where those in attendance gathered to reflect on the memorials dedicated to Rutherford's fallen veterans. While surrounding the World War II Monument. Krysenowksi explained that "ordinary people left for the call of duty to serve in the war." At the Korean/ Vietnam monument, Kryzenowksi recognized all those men and women who fought in these wars to defend people they had never met and never knew.
Charles Gunn, Commander of American Legion Post 453, read the Proclamation from Governor Murphy regarding the 2021 Observance of Veterans Day.
As veterans stood near the Eternal Flame monument, Admiral James W. Crawford, current President of Felician University, spoke. He spoke about how grateful he was to be there and be part of the observance in such a welcoming community. Admiral Crawford spoke about this year as particularly important since it marks the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. "I was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and my career changed from that day forward," Crawford explained. Crawford expressed his gratitude for the selflessness and self of duty that all veterans possess. "There is no price we can pay for their service...Veterans Day is every day," Crawford said.
Mayor Frank Nunziato congratulated Rose Inguanti on her efforts in preparing the World War I Monument for this Observance and Anniversary. Councilman Matt Cokeley spoke about the rededication of the World War I monument in honor of all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Krysenowski thanked the Rutherford Historical Commission for their extensive work and research in assisting to prepare the World War I plaque displayed in front of the Rutherford Public Library and in the rededication of the World War I monument. The Rutherford Historical Commission released a new walking tour regarding the various memorials at Lincoln Park. Click here for the link. "The Historic Commission doesn't stop, but I guess history doesn't either," Krysenowski remarked.
Gunn gave the final prayer and Krysenowski, in tears, gave his closing remarks about the significance of Veterans Day while telling everyone, "Enjoy life and the freedom the veterans of this country have protected."
Click here to view the Borough's YouTube video of the Veterans Day Observance.