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In Your Opinion: Come To Township’s Memorial Day Parade

Dear Franklin Residents,

Please join us for the Memorial Day parade and program on May 27. The parade route starts on New Brunswick Road and DeMott Lane at noon and ends at the Veterans Memorial at the Franklin Township Municipal Complex. The memorial program begins when the parade has finished.

I’ve enjoyed listening to the stories of the parade’s grand marshalls over the past 10 years. They’ve shared their experiences of WWII, Korean, Cold War, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. They’ve included a soldier who landed on Normandy Beach and lost two of his battle buddies in a fox hole; another who was trained as the navigator for the plane that was next to fly if the Enola Gay was unable to complete their mission, and one who survived the Battan Death March in the Pacific.

This year’s Grand Marshall, Milt Gotlieb, was in General Patton’s 3rd Army in a Division that liberated Nazi Work Camps. Sadly, some of these gentlemen have passed away but their stories live on. 

I have been doing this for 10 years because my uncles were in WWII, my father was in the Air Force in the Korean War, my father-in-law was a WWII veteran and attended all of the Memorial Day programs with great pride, and my two stepsons have served in the Middle East. It is my way of saying thank you for your service. 

While Armed Forces Day just passed on May 18 (the day we say thanks to those who are currently serving) and November 11th is Veterans Day where we honor all who have served, Memorial Day is the day we honor those who died while in service. We also remember those who served and are no longer with us. It is the sacrifice of our service members that gives us the freedom we have.

It takes a lot of people to have a parade and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank them. Thank you to Franklin Township Police Department; Public Works; Windy Wright from Special Projects; Bob Vornlocker, Township Manager; the Township Council; Franklin Township Board of Education including Junior ROTC, Franklin High School Marching Band, the schools; Girl and Boy Scouts; classic car drivers who always support; Canal Walk Veterans Club, the township’s fire companies and the other organizations who participate. We even have Robert Costello as Abe Lincoln this year, PJ Parker singing the National Anthem and God Bless America and, weather and availability permitting, a flyover by a Coast Guard helicopter out of Sea Girt. A special thank you goes to John Walker who donates the wreaths that are laid at the memorials every year. 

We hope to see you along the parade route on Monday and please stay for the program. 

Bob LaCorte

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