Hopatcong Memorial Day Ceremony – Over 200 Brave the Rain to Honor our Veterans

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While multiple tents were set up to help protect against the rain, it was standing room only with many standing in the rain for over an hour on this special day where we observed Memorial Day as a day of remembrance for U.S. soldiers who died in military service. It was first observed in 1868 when flowers were placed on graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. It later changed from honoring the dead from the Civil War to honoring the dead from all American wars.

This year under the direction of Cathy Millian Director of Recreation, and the Town Council the Ceremony kicked it up a notch with the additions of Senator Steve Oroho, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, and the Hopatcong High School Marching Band.

Councilwoman Dawn Roberts and Gold Star Mother (GSM) provided a very moving speech as she talked about her family and her son that gave the utmost sacrifice to his county. She clearly remembered two officers standing in her living room saying, “We regret to inform you…”, from there Dawn talked about eventually seeing the rays of hope, and how her current service to the community as the head of the Community Center helps her… help other people to make their life better.

She concluded. by saying “Our military that raises their right hand and writes a blank check to America and pledges to protect America, don’t ask what race you are, what religion you are, what is your political affiliation… They have a common goal… To maintain our lives and our freedom.”

Hopatcong Hometown Heroes for 2021:

Following the moving speeches, Councilman Brad Hoferkamp introduced the 20 new Hopatcong Heroes that are now added in the banner displays across town in the River Styx Bridge area. Each honoree received an official Borough of Hopatcong proclamation that provides each honoree a date in our town history as a form of special recognition.

New Hometown Heroes for 2021:

The new banners for 2021 are located in the River Styx bridge area from Bell Avenue and the Bridge.

  • Lt. William T. Orr
  • Sgt. Robert Wayne Orr
  • Sgt. William T Lounsbery
  • Corporal Robert Juliano, Sr.
  • Corporal Robert B. Klein
  • Sgt. William (Bill) Burke
  • Sgt. Anna Wood McCarthy
  • Coxswain John J. Bickar
  • 2nd Class Samuel Bochner
  • EMI Scott M. Dodenhoff
  • Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard R. Belar
  • CpI. E-3 Robert David Ujvary, Sr.
  • Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas A. Daniels
  • Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert P. Weber
  • Sgt. John W. Moser, Jr.
  • MMM 3rd Class Thomas Crooke
  • E-3 William Brennan
  • E-4 Petty Officer Marc Russo
  • CpI. Walter V. Pierre
  • CpI. Murray Ciulla

New Banner Flags:

The following new Hometown Heroes Banners were captured after the ceremony as they reside in the River Styx bridge area from Bell Avenue and the Bridge.

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Hopatcong Memorial Day Ceremony Agenda and Key Speakers:

  1. Tim Carey
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. HS Marching Band – Star Spangled Banner
  4. Deacon Tom - Opening/ Prayer
  5. Mayor Michael Francis
  6. Councilwoman Dawn Roberts
  7. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill
  8. Senator Steve Oroho
  9. Councilman Brad Hoferkamp
  10. Hometown Hero Presentation
  11. Tim Carey - Placement of the Wreaths
  12. HS Marching Band – Star Spangled Banner
  13. Benediction by Deacon Tom

Overall, a great presentation from the Borough of Hopatcong that clearly shows and understands that we owe a debt of gratitude to our Veterans every day, and especially on Memorial Day.

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