Marlboro ceremony pays tribute to the defenders of freedom

On May 25, Marlboro had its Memorial Day ceremony at the veterans memorial in front of town hall. It was a gorgeous day and the ceremony was a great success. This was not easy to put together. Many people played an important role in ensuring a great ceremony.

This year, the newly formed Veterans and Volunteers committee chaired by James Mione had the honor of running the ceremony. They really did an outstanding job and should be commended for their actions.

I would also like to thank Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4374 from Freehold, Jewish War Veterans Seth Dvorin Chapter from Marlboro, Cpl. Philip Reynolds Detachment of the Marine Corps League, the Marlboro Police Explorers, the Marlboro Police Department, the Marlboro Master Gardeners, the Marlboro and Morganville fire companies and first aid squads, and the many wonderful people who showed up to show their support for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

This year there were several World War II veterans in attendance who laid a ceremonial wreath by the veterans monument. We are so lucky to have our World War II heroes on hand to celebrate this great day.

Last year I had the privilege of going to Normandy, France. I stood on hallowed ground and even brought some sand back with me to commemorate our forces during D-Day and Operation Overlord. As I stood on Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Gold Beach, Sword Beach and Juno Beach, I stood in awe of the greatest generation of United States military personnel, and silently thanked them for everything they did for all of us.

I stood on that hallowed ground and wondered if I could drum up enough intestinal fortitude to storm the beaches of Normandy. That jar of sand sits on my desk as a reminder of all those who were willing to go to a far away nation and liberate oppressed people that they had never met.

I would like to thank Mayor Jon Hornik and Township Council members Frank LaRocca, Randi Marder, Steve Rosenthal and Rosa Tragni for supporting this event and the Veterans and Volunteers Committee. They are great leaders who truly support the people of Marlboro.

For all of our veterans who have worn the uniform and have gone to austere environments to take on those that threaten freedom, we owe you a debt that can never be repaid.

This past year, there were 786 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I think Calvin Coolidge said it best, “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”
Lt. Col. Jeff Cantor
U.S. Army Reserve
and Councilman