1ST ANNUAL PEARL HARBOR DAY 12-7-14 OPEN HOUSE AT THE AMERICAN LEGION POST 331 IN STONE HARBOR NJ HONORING THE GREATEST GENERATION
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Tom Brokow said it best; the men and women who severed our country during World War II were our country’s “greatest generation”! Their sacrifice for our country’s causes was without regard for them, but for the greater good of all Americans and the future of our world.
The American Legion of Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ on 7 Mile Island, seized the opportunity to thank all of them and recognize the Post 331 World War II Veterans on a wonderful fall afternoon 73 years after President Roosevelt’s decree of a: “Day That Will Go Down In Infamy”! How much peaceful was this day because of these brave young men and women?
The December 7th Open House at the American Legion of Stone Harbor and Avalon NJ Post 331, honoring our greatest generation, was a very special and memorable day for our veterans and our guests. The American Legion Veterans, the Ladies Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion all from Post 331, were honored for the opportunity to participate and volunteer time and resources to make this first event a huge success.
13 World War II Veterans were in attendance or represented. In addition approximately 90 guests consisting of: friends, family, press, clergy, veterans, Stone Harbor and Avalon Mayors & Councilpersons, and American Legion County & State Officials were also in attendance.
Introductions and a Welcome were given by Commander Harry Clayton of American Legion Post 331. An Invocation was given by The Reverend Victoria Pretti, the Rector at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church. A proclamation to the Veterans from Governor Chris Christie was read by Commander Harry Clayton of Post 331 on behalf of the Governor.
Post 331 World War II Veterans either in attendance or represented were: John Fallon, Sam Beddia, Joe Reese, Joe Rizzo, Lawrence Oster Sr., James Tracy, James McCabe, Frank D’Elia, Ed Heller, Coy Zachary, Graham Quinn, Frank Taylor, and John DeAngelis.
Some of the veterans ‘took to the microphone’ and shared their experiences with all of the attendees. You could hear a pin drop in the hall, as you can imagine. This generation of men and women, for the most part, did not discuss the events of their service upon their return home to their farm, cities, and towns. They viewed their role as their contribution to our country and wanted to get back to family life as they left it. It also is what they were fighting for! It is very important that if veterans choose to speak, we should listen, understand what they did for all of us, and thank them!
Tom McCullough (chairman of this event for the American Legion) truly had the vision and provided an outstanding service while adding a legacy event for years to come for December 7th at Post 331.The bar has been set for years to come!
In all, a very good day for all who attended and enjoyed the recollections from the WWII Veterans, enjoyed the wonderful hot and cold hors d’oeuvres & array of fine beverages, while witnessing the happiness of our Veterans, their families, and their friends.