Fallen Heroes Remembered at Eatontown's Wampum Memorial Park
A ceremony at Wampum Memorial Park on Memorial Day commemorated Eatontown's war veterans and paid tribute to America's servicemen, past and present.
A solemn ceremony at Wampum Memorial Park on Memorial Day commemorated Eatontown's war dead and paid tribute to America's servicemen, past and present.
Representatives of the American Legion told the crowd to never forget the honorable sacrifices of all who died defending our freedoms.
Lt. Col. Kent T. Woods, U.S. Army, on his last day of active service before retirement, told stories of individual sacrifice from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including two brave soldiers who died holding their ground to shoot at a truck bomber attempting to ram into a barracks.
"We are here not just to remember how these heroes died," Woods said, "but how they lived -- defending our freedom."
The Mayor Gerald Tarantolo of Eatontown paid respect to fallen warriors and added that he was deeply saddened that this would be the last Memorial Day celebrated at Fort Monmouth, which will be closing in September after 93 years of service.
He said that unlike the old soldiers that Gen. Douglas MacArthur said never die but just fade away, Fort Monmouth will never fade away from the memory of New Jersey and it will always be remembered for its significant contributions to science, communications and winning wars.
"It is a sad day for our country, for our state, and for Eatontown and the surrounding communities to see Fort Monmouth go," Tarantolo said. The Department of Defense estimated in 2006 that the closure of the Fort would cause the loss of 9,737 jobs.
Red, white and blue wreaths were presented and left at Wampum Park's veterans memorial, each donated by one of Eatontown's 13 organizations including Boy Scout troop 253, the police department, the fire department, Elks Lodge 2402 and the war widow group Gold Star Wives.
See the sights of the patriotic ceremony in the PHOTO GALLERY above.