By John Burton
Memorial Day, that unofficial start of the summer season, is about more than picnics, the beach and mall sales, as Two River communities continue the tradition of honoring those who have served their nation and paid the ultimate price.
These are events slated for the Memorial Day Weekend:
Atlantic Highlands: The annual parade, hosted by the American Legion, will start at the municipal harbor at 11 a.m. Marchers will proceed along First Avenue to Veterans Park, First Avenue, for the traditional ceremony, which will include borough officials and community service organizations. Following the ceremony, the volunteer fire department will host a reception, open to the public, at 10 East Highland Ave.
Colts Neck: There is a bicycle-decorating contest at 10 a.m. for township youth at the township’s first aid building, Heritage Way, prior to the parade. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at the recreation and parks department, 14 Heyers Mill Rd. to Memorial Park for the ceremony traditionally held at the gravesite of Sgt. Michael Field, killed during the Revolutionary War. The ceremony will feature elected officials and volunteer and community organizations. Immediately following the ceremony, there will be a reception with light refreshments at the Firehouse No. 2, Conover Road.
Fair Haven: The annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 9 a.m. Monday at Knollwood School, 224 Hance Rd. It will make its way to the borough’s volunteer fire department, River Road, for a short ceremony, before proceeding to Memorial Park, also on River Road, for the service. Borough officials, police and fire department members will participate in the ceremony that is open to the public.
Highlands: The Memorial Day parade and program, organized by American Legion Twin Light Post No. 143, will be held on Saturday, May 25. The parade will kick off at Huddy Park, Bay Avenue, at 1 p.m. and proceed along Bay Avenue to Veterans Memorial Park. Immediately following the parade, there will be a ceremony with speakers, officials and community organizations. Afterward, all are invited to return to the American Legion post, 85-87 Bay Ave., for a reception.
Holmdel: A ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday at the town hall’s Memorial Circle, 4 Crawfords Corner Rd., and will feature local officials, including the mayor who will offer a brief address, and other local officials along with community organizations and the Holmdel High School Band.
A ceremony also will be held in Holmdel at 11 a.m. Monday at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, located on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center at Exit 116 on the Garden State Parkway. This year’s program will feature guest speaker retired Brig. Gen. Vincent E. Stahl of Milltown. During his active career, Stahl served with the 4th Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor and with the 5th Special Forces Group in 1964. Following his active duty, he served in a variety of posts as a reservist.
The memorial’s foundation will award two $2,500 college scholarships to two high school seniors and will induct five Vietnam veterans into its In Memory program. The program honors state residents who served and died as a result of the Vietnam War but whose names are not on the Holmdel memorial.
Little Silver: Participants for the annual parade will gather at Parker Avenue and Willow Street at 8:30 a.m. on the holiday. The parade will proceed to Memorial Park, Prospect Avenue, where the traditional service with Mayor Robert Neff Jr. presiding, will be held with volunteer and community organizations participating.
Middletown: The annual parade, organized by American Legion Post 338 in cooperation with the township, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Bayshore Middle School, 834 Leonardville Rd. The line of march will proceed to Appleton Avenue to Brevent Avenue and then turn right onto Highland Avenue, left on Leonard Avenue and onto Viola Avenue. It will conclude at the legion post, 860 Route 36, Leonardo.
Monmouth Beach: The borough’s veterans association and its president, John Sheeran, have scheduled an unveiling at the Monmouth Beach Veterans Association Honor Roll at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26. The unveiling will be held at the Wells Fargo Bank on Beach Road. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Peter J. Mahoney will be the guest speaker. Refreshments will be served.
The annual Memorial Day ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the volunteer firehouse, Beach Road. Along with the traditional participation of local officials and community organizations, the guest speaker is retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. John E. Occhipinti.
Oceanport: Those participating in the parade will gather at Blackberry Bay Park, 430 Port Au Peck Ave., at approximately 9 a.m. Marchers will proceed up Comanche Drive to Monmouth Boulevard to borough hall for the 10 a.m. ceremony. The ceremony will have local elected officials and members from community organizations and will feature guest speaker U.S. Navy Lt. Jeff Dennison, from Naval Weapons Station Earle, Colts Neck.
Red Bank: The borough’s ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the veteran’s memorial, 51 Monmouth St., as has been the tradition. The event will involve elected officials, clergy, community and volunteer organizations, the Atlantic Watch Pipes and Drums, Red Bank Primary School students with organizations laying wreaths they donated at the memorial.
Following the ceremony, the Red Bank Elks Lodge 233 at 40 West Front St., will have a reception with light refreshments, which is open to the public.
In case of rain, the ceremony will be at the Elks lodge.
At 10 a.m., officials and the volunteer fire department will conduct a separate ceremony in front of the municipal complex.
Rumson: Parade participants will line up at 9:30 a.m. on Blackpoint Road between Bingham and Forrest avenues, with the parade starting at 10 a.m. The marchers will travel along River Road to Victory Park for the traditional ceremony with borough officials, community groups and services organizations, scheduled for approximately 10:30 a.m.
Sea Bright: The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the volunteer firehouse, 1099 Ocean Ave. The program will include comments from Mayor Dina Long and borough council members, along with remarks from Paul Frisco, a World War II U.S. Navy veteran. Members of the police and fire departments will participate. Organist George Murphy and soloist Ward Saxton will perform the national anthem and other patriotic selections. Following the ceremony, a reception with light refreshments will be held. The public is invited.
Shrewsbury: The borough will conduct its ceremony on this Memorial Day at 10 a.m., at Patriot Isle, the borough’s veterans’ memorial, located at the Sycamore Avenue and Route 35 intersection. The observance will include comments from local officials, student poems and a musical performance by the elementary school band. Invitations have been extended to borough veterans, police and volunteer fire department, first aid squad and community organizations.
Following the ceremony, participants and the public are invited to Shrewsbury Hose Fire Company No. 1, Route 35, for refreshments.
In case of rain the ceremony will be held at the fire company.