By JENNIFER AMATO
NORTH BRUNSWICK — The clouds cleared and the sun broke through to shine down on a very important day in North Brunswick.
Part of a years-long program that has added secondary street signs to existing ones in order to honor veterans in town, the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Halsey Road was unveiled as Veterans Way on Sept. 7.
“It’s an extreme honor to dedicate Veterans Way this evening in honor of the many men and women who have sacrificed so we may enjoy an event such as this evening,” Lou Ann Benson, director of the North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services, said to a crowd of hundreds of residents and township employees who gathered at the site.
The Rev. John Polyak of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church said that the night was bittersweet.
“It’s wonderful to have the dedication of a park in honor of veterans,” he said of the ceremony to rededicate Veterans Park after the street naming, “but at the same time, it’s a shame in a sense that we have veterans. It’s a shame we have to have war to keep us safe. … The distances between the different nations and different philosophies of life could be bridged and we could have peace in our time.”
Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack added that the community’s responsibility at large is to “be there for our veterans to remember what they’ve done for us … and to honor and fulfill their needs as we live in a free society that they’ve given us.”
Prior to the actual unveiling, Councilman Bob Davis, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from 1967-72, read a proclamation by the mayor and council honoring the nation’s heroes and supporting them for fighting for the greater good of the United States.
Womack, Benson and council members then removed a black cloth covering the sign for Veterans Way and the insignia of the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The signs were made by members of the North Brunswick Department of Public Works.
In another effort to honor its veterans, North Brunswick will continue to accept submissions for its Veterans Park Memorial Paver Donation Project.
Any resident who has a family member who served in the U.S. military during a wartime period can honor them at Veterans Park on Roosevelt Avenue with a 4-inch-by-8-inch brick. There is a maximum of three lines with 15 uppercase letters/spaces/punctuation marks per line.
Veterans do not have to be deceased to be memorialized.
Checks in the amount of $75 should be made payable to the Township of North Brunswick and mailed with the name, mailing address, telephone and email to the Veterans Paver Donation Project, c/o the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services, 710 Hermann Rd., North Brunswick, N.J. 08902.
For more information, call Lou Ann Benson at 732-247-0922, ext. 475.
Contact Jennifer Amato at email@example.com.