NORTH BRUNSWICK – With springtime weather around the corner, North Brunswick began its Veteran Street Sign Program for 2018 with two celebrations on April 9.
The late Joseph J. Rosta was born on May 7, 1916, and lived in the New Brunswick area before moving to Stockton Place in North Brunswick in 1951. Stockton Place now will bear a sign for Rosta Way.
Rosta served in the U.S. Marine Corp from November 1943 until his discharge in December 1945. He was a private, who spent most of his time in the Pacific, according to the proclamation read during the street-naming ceremony.
During the Battle of Okinawa in May 1945, Rosta was shot in both legs and nearly killed while helping a fellow wounded Marine from the battlefield so he could receive medical attention. Rosta was awarded the Purple Heart for his act of bravery, according to the proclamation.
Rosta was honorably discharged on Dec. 8, 1945. He was awarded several high military decorations and awards, including the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, which was awarded posthumously.
Rosta began a career in sales upon returning from the war. He worked for Ehler’s Coffee Company and Diamond Label Foods. He remained an active veteran and was appointed to the New Brunswick office of the Division of Veterans Services, providing assistance to veteran families throughout Middlesex County, according to the proclamation.
Rosta was married to Anastasia Lilly (Koontz) and together they have three children: Joseph Jr., Kathleen and Eileen. They have many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rosta passed away on Aug. 19, 1970.
John Dale Knox also was honored with his own ceremony at Irwin Place for the naming of Knox Way.
Knox was born on June 3, 1927, in Burlington, Vermont, and became a resident of North Brunswick in 1950.
He began his service in the U.S. Navy on April 6, 1945. His training took place at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Sampson, New York. He fought in World War II as a Seaman, First Class. He earned the World War II Victory Medal, the American Area Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal and was honorably discharged on May 24, 1954, according to his proclamation.
Knox worked for Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, where he met his wife, Sara. He also worked for Carter Wallace as a soft chemical operator and acted as their union president. He was an active member of his community, involved in the food business for many years and a proud Cub Scout leader, according to the proclamation.
The Knoxes’ children are Robert, John, Kevin, Timothy, Joseph, Kathy and Connie (deceased). They have 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The street sign program allows township residents, who were wartime veterans, to be recognized by adding their name on a secondary street sign to an existing municipal road in order to promote public awareness of these individuals and show appreciation for their outstanding contributions and service as a member of the United States Armed Forces.
Wartime veterans served in the active military forces during a period of armed conflict or received the armed forces expeditionary or other campaign service medals during an emergency condition, including those who died in the line of duty in the active military forces.
Eligible candidates include honorably discharged veterans having served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard.
To nominate a veteran, living or deceased, contact Lou Ann Benson, director of the North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services, at 732-247-0922, ext. 475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.