Memorial Day is this Monday, and we’re fortunate to live in an area that truly celebrates our fallen heroes. Our local townships do a great job of mixing good old-fashioned fun with meaningful remembrance.
In Cranford, the festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a jubilant parade that starts at the Community Center on Walnut Ave, continues through downtown Cranford, and ends with a traditional ceremony at Memorial Park on Springfield Ave near Riverside Drive. If you’ve never stuck around for the closing ceremony, make this the year you do. It’s quite moving to see and hear the honoring of those who lost their lives serving this country–and it’s a great way to teach your children the significance of the holiday. This year’s Grand Marshall is Captain Michael Carberry, who retired from the U.S. Army in 2009 having served 24 years as a captain. A tip from past parade-goers: if you have kids, make sure to bring a bag or bucket to catch all the candy that the Scouts toss to the parade crowds–it’s a lot more than you think! In case of inclement weather, there will be a ceremony only held at the Community Center at 10 am.
A hop, skip, and a jump away in Westfield is another celebration, beginning at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies held at the World War I Monument at the intersection of North Ave and East Broad Street. A parade will march on from that point, led by Grand Marshall John “Chick” Miller, through downtown Westfield along East Broad and ending at Fairview Cemetery, with closing ceremonies hosted by the American Legion. After the parade, there will be a barbecue at the American Legion on North Ave in Westfield. In case of questionable weather, call 908-233-2767 for a status on the parade.
Let’s all enjoy this wonderful “kick off to Summer”, but let’s keep in mind the important holiday of remembrance that it is!