Memorial Day Observed With Parades and Ceremonies

Elizabeth Kelley, joins her children Mattew Fallas, 7 and Sophia Fallas, 6, as they await the start of the Jackson Memorial Day Parade. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

OCEAN COUNTY – Memorial Day ceremonies and parades in Jackson and Plumsted brought their residents together to observe the true meaning of the day, a tribute to those in the armed forces who paid for freedom with their lives.

  Jackson’s annual parade kicked off at 10 a.m. following a lineup at the Holman Elementary School and proceeded to Johnson Memorial Park where a service was held and various activities took place.

  Jackson Memorial High School senior Riley Parinello sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and speakers included grand marshal Paul Santiago, Chief Warrant Officer Kristina Sofchik, Patrolman Curtis Nagel (a former U.S. Marine), VFW member Tim Amon and retired Master Sergeant Steven Weston and Jewish War Veterans of the USA State Senior Commander Chuck Greenberg. Township police officer Mike Deplasi served as master of ceremonies.

World War II veteran Wally Jamison (center in white shirt) joins members of the Cassville Fire Company for a photo following this year’s Jackson Memorial Day ceremony held at Johnson Park. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Jackson Council Vice President Steve Chisholm who marched along with Councilman Nino Borrelli and Councilwoman Jennifer Kuhn in the parade, noted the meaning of the day.

  “It is about individuals who gave up their lives and gave that last measure of full devotion for us so that we can do things like having those barbeques and picnics and spend time with our family. So, thank those individuals and teach your kids what it is about. Give some thanks to those who gave their lives.”

  Borrelli commended the work of Jackson Police Officer Mike Basso and all of those involved in coordinating the parade and the activities afterward at Johnson Park.

Caryn Phillips at left joins her 4-year-old-son Anderson, Jackson teacher Sheri Ellenport and Tov the family dog for this year’s Memorial Day events in Jackson. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Councilwoman Kuhn noted the presence of U.S. Army World War II veteran Wally Jamison who was honored earlier in the year on the occasion of his 100th birthday. The long-time township resident joined his wife Margaret for a ride in the parade and they observed the ceremony that followed.

  In Plumsted, Memorial Day started a bit earlier with members of McKaig-Test-Mullen American Legion Post 455, New Egypt, mourning U.S. military personnel who died serving the country with the highest military honor, the 21-gun salute, rendered at several area cemeteries.

  They were present at the Catholic Cemetery on Evergreen Road at 7 a.m., 15 minutes later at Zoar Cemetery on Brown Lane and at 7:30 a.m. at Zion Cemetery on Lakewood Road.

  The event concluded with a ceremony at Zion Cemetery following the salute there. It included poems such as “In Flanders Field,” as well as attendance by local dignitaries.

Members of McKaig Test Mullen Unit New Egypt American Legion and Legion Auxiliary enjoy a ride on a trailer as they head toward Main Street in Downtown New Egypt as part of the annual Plumsted Township Memorial Day Parade. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  The Sons of the American Revolution placed a plaque dedicated to Private Thomas Chaffy during that ceremony. Chaffy is buried in Zion Cemetery and served in the New Jersey 1st Regiment from 1780-1783. The actual dedication of the plaque will take place on Veterans Day, November 11.

Members of the Military Order of Purple Heart Combat Wounded Veterans march toward Johnson Park during Jackson Township’s annual Memorial Day Parade. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Later there was a parade on Main Street that featured floats honoring fallen veterans by members of the New Egypt Historical Society, the New Egypt Elks and First Bible Baptist Church. Marchers included the New Egypt High School band, various scout groups, youth sports organizations, and vehicles from the New Egypt Speedway. The grand marshal, 12th District Sen. Samuel D. Thompson enjoyed a ride along the parade route in a vintage convertible.

This historical plaque was placed by members of the by the Sons of the American Revolution at Zion Cemetery on Lakewood Road on Memorial Day. It was dedicated to Private Thomas Chaffy who is buried there and who served in the New Jersey 1st Regiment from 1780-1783. The actual dedication of the plaque will take place in Plumsted Township on Veterans Day. (Photo courtesy Plumsted Township)

  Per tradition, a Memorial Day service was held after the parade at the American Legion Post as a crowd gathered outside the Post building to listen to various speakers.