MONROE — Nearly 900 residents came out to pay tribute to servicemen and women at the Monroe Township Chorus’ Annual Salute to the Armed Forces.
“Chorus Director Sheila Werfel and her chorus led an amazing tribute to our veterans,” Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro said during the May 16 performance held at the Richard P. Marasco Center for the Performing Arts. “The concert was especially endearing as we paid tribute to Vietnam veterans to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War.”
The concert is the first of six events the township will hold to honor Vietnam War-era veterans over the next three years as part of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Vietnam War Commemorative Partner Program.
“I would like to thank township resident Erick Kasner who served in Vietnam for doing a lot of the ‘grunt work’ to get Monroe involved in the DoD program,” Tamburro said. “This is our way to give thanks to all Vietnam-era veterans, many of whom were not given the hero’s welcome they rightfully deserved when returning from service. The concert was just the start of something special that we will be doing in Monroe over the next few years.”
At the concert, the 60-person Monroe Township Chorus performed a variety of songs, dedicating the entire performance to all veterans. The program included renditions of John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads,” Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” the classic standard “The Beer Barrel Polka,” among many others, along with patriotic songs, including “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless the USA,” according to a statement prepared by Monroe Township.
Retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. John P. Rose from the DoD thanked all of the veterans for their service and promised to honor all of the Vietnam veterans in Monroe Township.
“I am here to say that what I am most proud of is that you Vietnam War veterans did not quit,” Rose said. “You did not quit on your country, you did not quit on your military, and as a result of your work and your efforts over the past 50 years we have developed and we have evolved into the greatest country in the world.”
Furthermore, the township will honor all those who died serving their country on May 30 at two Memorial Day Ceremonies: the first at 9 a.m. at the municipal building, 1 Municipal Plaza, and the second at 9:45 a.m. at Veterans Park on Avenue K.
“Please join us as we honor all those that served, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country,” Tamburro said. “I would personally like to thank all who served and those currently serving in the armed forces and let them know that Monroe is proud and appreciative of you.”