Saturday, April 24, 2010

World War II Veterans Memorial Park, Whiting, NJ 08759

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PHOTOS OF THE DEDICATION CEREMONY
 by Peggy Cox


Scanned cover of the booklet distributed to attendees.



Location: On Lake Street, between Harry Wright Lake and Route 530

As you may have guessed, we're in the NJ Pinelands/Pine Barrens in southern NJ, Ocean County. We're above Atlantic City, NJ. Our largest local newspaper is the Asbury Park Press. I met one of their photographers, as both of us snapped off loads of photos, along with many other photographers from the different branches of the United States Armed Forces and other shutterbugs. 


The event started off with our Manchester Township Mayor, Mike Fressola, telling us to look upwards to the sky as he was doing.



What were we looking for? Little streamers, like the tails of kites to come down. We were told that these were markers... That they had a surprise for us... There would be paratroppers coming down from the sky that were servicemen.

That they would be landing on an "X" placed on the ground where the serviceman in this photo is standing by. You can see part of the yellowish "X" on the grass, on the opposite side, in this photo, from where he is standing.

There were other servicemen standing by, just a few feet away from the "X" too.


There were two servicemen coming down.


Here comes the first one...


Down he comes, landing safely.


The second one is on his way down.


Comming closer and closer to the ground.


As thousands and thousands of people


Watched them fall from the sky.


He also landed safely.

Both paratroopers were on the ground...




When patter of little feet ran out onto the field, to give one of the paratroopers a great big hug... His son?



Who surely seemed to be his little helper...

Now, we're going back to the other side of the field, where the covered monuments and statue remain, awaiting to be unveiled...

THE PARADE BEGAN...


Next up we were told was the band, from the background, who paraded around the monuments and the statue.

Cropped and closeup of the band members from the above photo...

I zoomed in with the camera lens for a second shot of them.

Again, did a crop of the band members in PhotoShop on my computer.

From around the other side of the monuments and the statue appeard the Color Guards carrying flags. They were actually leading the parade, in front of the band... 

The Parade & Procession of Color Guards included 12 groups:

MANCHESTER POLICE HONOR GUARD
LEGIONNAIRE'S SENIOR MARCHING BAND
BUFFALO SOLDIERS 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
US COAST GUARD HONOR GUARD
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
AMERICAN LEGION POST 502
US NAVY HONOR GUARD
AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS
VFW POST 8745
82ND AIRBORNE ALL-AMERICAN CHORUS
US ARMY HONOR GUARD
CENTRAL JERSEY CHAPTER OF
82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION ASSOCIATION

Photos below of same. Hope I captured all of them in the photos.

The young soldier sitting in the back row in the WWII jeep near the end of the parade is the fella who posed for the statue, "The Grunt."
































AFTER THE PARADE, WE DREW OUR ATTENTION  BACK TO THE STAGE AND THE MC, MANCHESTER'S "MAYOR MIKE"
There seemed to be a "Power Point" presentation going on constantly back stage on the large screen, which was to be used later on for a "Movie in the Park" that was to feature 7 Academy Award winning film from 1946, "The Best Years of our Lives" about veterans returning from World War II.  An outdoor movie that the folks didn't have to drive up to. Remember the "Drive-Ins?" Well, I believe that these were "Sit-Ins" with using the white chairs for same that almost every one was sitting during this early afternoons dedication ceremonies.

The move was scheduled to start around 4:30 p.m., with popcorn being served during the movie.  Just before that, at 3:00 p.m., it was the USO's, Liberty Bells, who are part of the US tradition that goes back more than 65 years with the camp shows of the South Pacific. 

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

Dick Friedrich, World War II Veteran

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Lead by our "Mayor Mike Fressola"


Sorry about that, Mike, I cut you in half in that photo, so, here's another one I had taken of you...

THE INVOCATION 

Owen L. Alston, Pastor, Harmony Ministries USA Inc.

THE OPENING ADDRESS

Manchester's Mayor Mike Fressola

THE "AMERICAN ANTHEM"

Cassidy Gobel,  Vocal Performance

BLESSING OF THE VETERANS

Rev. Bernard Keigher, Pastor, St John's Roman Catholic Church

MEDLY OF PATRIOTIC SONGS

82nd Airborne All-American Chorus does a Vocal Performance


AIRPLANE & BANNER FLYING OVERHEAD


Couldn't get it all in one shot even though

It circled the field several times

As they continued and preformed the rest of their songs

UNVEILING OF THE WALLS:
Army
Army Air Corps
Coast Guard
Marines
Merchant Marines
Navy
and
The Center Wall


Everyone getting ready...






Off they come...






TRIBUTE TO A GRANDFATHER

Mathew Lipowski, Frank Barone, Jr. & Joseph Barone

UNVEILING OF THE STATUE
"The Grunt"








"The Grunt" Unvailed...

POETRY READING
"A Soldier Died Today"

Frank Barone

THE 7 WALLS UNCOVERED























OTHER PHOTOS























It's not just  "All play and no work" for everyone today...

The Asbury Park Press Photographer...
Have to upload this one to their APP
Jersey Shore "Moms Like Me" website...

Someone has to run the electrical fixtures at the stage...


Someone has to direct the traffic...





"Lest we forget" not just the servicemen/women who fought and died for our country, but, the people, of all ages, young and old, who made donations, some as small as one to five dollars or more, that made this all possible...

 Yes, "We, the people" made it possible...










And, there's a lot more on the drawing board for this new park in the very near future, too.... Just ask Mayor Mike... (Both Mike and I hail from neighboring towns up in northern Jersey, way up in Passaic County, where the kids from his town and my town went to the same regional high school. We've both relocated down this way around 15 years ago or so... We're "Pineys by choice.")


Lake Road, Whiting, a section of Manchester Township, in Ocean County, in the  NJ Pine Barrens, in southern Jersey, "Down by the Jersey Shore" as the saying goes... A nice place to live, for folks of all ages...

NOTE: Some of the info contained herein (names, etc.) from the hand-out that is pictured in the beginning of this Blog...


Dedicated Saturday, April 24, 2010, starting at 1 p.m...

Bye for now..... Look for more expansions as the years pass by.




And, Oceanpeg/Peggy, Oceanpeg1@msn.com behind the camera.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely lovely - I'm wiping tears as I type!

    ReplyDelete