Guy Opie, Exalted Ruler of Elks Lodge 233, defined a veteran as “someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.” And Rabbi Marc Kline, of the Monmouth Reformed Temple, told the audience that the best way to honor those who have served is to work to prevent future wars. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
If it seems like ages since Red Bank had a parade other than its annual Halloween costumefest, well yeah. Was the last civic parade really 11 years ago, to mark the borough’s first century as an independent entity?
The Parks and Rec department hopes to end the dry spell by bringing back a lost tradition two weeks from today: the Memorial Day parade.
By JOHN T. WARD
Returning home after a year’s service in Vietnam, Jim Black remembers landing on American soil after midnight. There was no welcoming committee, no formal expression of gratitude. U.S. authorities made sure the repatriations took place under cover of darkness, in part to shield soldiers from war protesters, he said.
It left Black and others other veterans feeling slighted, he said. It wasn’t that he and his fellow soldiers wanted a parade, but “just don’t hate me,” he said, choking up a bit.
That’s why a free art school for military veterans in Red Bank means so much to him: it makes him and other vets feel “welcomed” at last, he told redbankgreen Friday.
Mayor Pasquale Menna and a National Guard officer laid a small memorial at the Veterans Monument at Monmouth Street and Drummond Place to honor the 10 borough “boys” who lost their lives in WWI.
See redbankgreen’s photos from the event below. . (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
“Giving Tuesday,” founded in 2012 by New York City’s 92nd St. YMCA and the United Nations Foundation, was originally a “response to commercialism and consumerism” during the holiday season. It has since turned into an international day of giving.
Next Tuesday, Nov. 28, the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre will join forces with 94.3 The Point and The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation for a day-long, live broadcast from the Basie to raise funds for the Veterans Tickets Foundation, or Vet Tix.
Meantime, most local and state government offices will be closed both Friday and Saturday. Post Offices will be open Friday and closed Saturday. (Click photos to enlarge)
Servicemen and women will be among the local resident who gather at the monument to war veterans at Monmouth Street and Drummond Place in Red Bank for a Veterans Day commemoration Friday. Click “read more” for town-by-town events on the Green. (Click photos to enlarge)
Local veterans saluted as the Red Bank Charter School choir sang ‘The Star-Spangled’ at a Veterans Day commemoration in downtown Red Bank Wednesday. Mayor Red Bank Menna told a small crowd gathered at the Veterans Monument at Monmouth Street and Drummond Place that the annual event honored “the unstinting service and selfless loyalty” given by generations of men and women who have served in the military.
At right, the duo known as Williams Honor sang an original song, and below, charter school eighth-grader Jonathan Rivera played bagpipes to open and close the ceremony. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Click “read more” for town-by-town events on the Green. (Click photos to enlarge)
Red Bank Charter School fourth-graders sang, and local officials paid tribute to those who’ve served in America’s wars with a ceremony at the Veterans Monument on Monmouth Street on Tuesday, Veterans Day.
Michael Rodriguez, former Exalted Ruler of the Red Bank Elks, told the audience that the event was an acknowledgement of “those who live among us and those who live only in memory,” including soldiers and sailors unaccounted for. (Click photos to enlarge)
Michael Aufiero in his Shrewsbury workshop. Below, the frame of his display case for the replica of the U.S.S. Houston being readied for shipment to the Navy Museum. (Photo above by Dan Natale; others courtesy of Michael Aufiero. Click to enlarge)
By DAN NATALE and JOHN T. WARD
Schwarz heads up a World War II veterans’ organization, the U.S.S. Houston (CA-30) Survivors Association, founded by his late father. He was overseeing the refurbishment of the original scale-replica of the ship, a heavy cruiser that was sunk by the Japanese in the early days of World War II. The replica would be donated to the the National Museum for the United States Navy in Washington. It needed a display case. Would Aufiero build it?
Aufiero, who owns Red Bank’s Front Street Trattoria with his wife, Valerie, was reluctant to take on the task. His wood shop was about mantelpieces and wall units for home entertainment systems, not something as freighted with meaning as this.
But Aufiero had known Otto Schwarz, and knew his story: how he had survived 20 hours in the sea as the Japanese machine-gunned the water; his three-and-a-half-year ordeal in a prison-of-war camp in Burma as a member of the slave labor contingent depicted in “The Bridge on the River Kwai;” the horrific beatings he endured in a camp in Saigon.
Aufiero felt an obligation to honor both Schwarz and the sailors who had served with him.
“There’s not a lot of men I look up to in my life,” Aufiero said. “He was one of them.”
By DANIELLE TEPPER
Come September, Red Bank Regional High School will have a fully operational Apple Mobile classroom for the 2012-2013 school year for its world language classes.
The RBR Education Foundation recently presented the Board of Education with a check for $28,000 to purchase an iPad cart equipped with 35 iPads and three MacBooks with a two-year protection program, as well as a voucher for applications available to foster the acquisition of foreign language.
This level of accessibility into other cultures and languages is completely unprecedented, said assistant principal Will Smith.
Among those who gathered at the Veterans Monument at Monmouth Street and Drummond Place at 11 a.m. Friday to commemorate Veterans Day was Red Bank resident John Gillespie, who served in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. He came, he said, to remember “the people we lost. That’s why we’re here.”
The threat of rain forced organizers to move Red Bank’s Veterans Day ceremonies indoors, from the customary location of the war and fire memorial on Monmouth Street.