90th Annual Memorial Day Parade May 29


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METUCHEN — A former Metuchen police officer and United States Navy veteran will serve as grand marshal of the 90th annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

The parade will step off at New and Pearl streets at 10 a.m. on May 29 with the theme “Honoring Law Enforcement.”

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At 17, Charles Moore enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in active duty around the world from 1958 to 1962.

He was trained in sonar and worked to detect signals from potential enemy submarines. Off the coast of Argentina he once identified a Russian submarine, which was subsequently forced to surface and be recognized.

On one of his tours of duty, Moore was assigned to the ship that opened up the St. Lawrence Seaway, part of the navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean that opened the Great Lake Region to global markets.

Moore left the U.S. Navy after meeting his wife of 54 years while on leave. He used his training in his next career in electronics with the Bendix Corporation.

He eventually attended the Police Academy and served as an officer in Metuchen for 25 years. He retired in 1991, and since then several of his adult children have followed in their father’s footsteps and are now also serve as police officers.

The parade will have a variety of participants featured in the parade, including a Marine Color Guard, groups from the local American Legion Posts and Vietnam Veterans Chapters, the Pride of Metuchen High School Marching Band, Mayor Peter Cammarano and Borough Council members, church groups, scout troops, classic cars, Fred Lehotay and the Ragtimers, the Banjo Rascals, the Metuchen Volunteer Fire Department and more.

The parade will start at New and Pearl Streets and proceed east toward the reviewing stand at the corner of Main Street and Hillside Avenue. From there, the parade will progress south along Main Street to Spring Street, turn west to the intersection of Rose Street, then northward to end with a ceremony and concert at Memorial Park.

“We’re delighted that we’re able to return to Memorial Park for this year’s ceremony,” said parade Chairperson Jan Margolis. “Just as the Park does, this event honors those who have fallen in service to our country, so we worked hard to make the logistics allow us to return here.”

Immediately following the parade, a concert featuring Spook Handy and The Seed Planters, will take place in Memorial Park.

The park, at the intersection of Lake and Essex avenues, was constructed in 1925 and 1926 to honor residents who served in World War I.

Since that time, the park has been redesigned with new monuments to honor those who have served in more recent wars and conflicts.

The 2017 Reviewing Dignitary is Jay Galeota, who is Honorary Commander, Joint Base Andrews, United States Airforce 113th Operations Group, Air National Guard, and President and Chief Operating Officer of G and W Laboratories.

The parade and ceremony at the park will include local students who plan to serve in the military upon graduation.

Younger students from local schools also participate by entering the annual art contest. In 2016, nearly 1,100 students entered. Fifty some winners across the various classes are chosen and the overall winner is featured on the cover of the event program and honored at the ceremony.

This annual Memorial parade and ceremony is organized by the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce and supported by a wide range of businesses and community groups from the area, including Metuchen Savings Bank, The Criterion News Advertiser, Applied Research Corporation, Victorian Office Rentals, Costello Runyon Funeral Home, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New Jersey, Keller Williams Elite, Realtors, and the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy.

To register or sponsor the parade, contact the chamber office at 732-548-2964 or metuchenchamber@optimum.net by May 22.

Veterans and active duty personnel are encouraged to contact the Chamber so that special arrangements can be made for their participation.

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