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Cranbury residents honor veterans at Memorial Day Parade

Color Guard for the parade from Seton Hall ROTC Cadets' program march through the streets during the annual Cranbury Memorial Day parade on May 27. Pictured from Left: Mekalia Dublin, Woochan Jeon, Jacob Garrett and Bella Fisher.

Memorial Day is a solemn day when Cranbury residents remember those who sacrificed and died fighting for America.

On this day, which was May 27, Cranbury held the towns annual Memorial Day Parade that is organized by the Cranbury Lions Club.

“This parade was something my children were in when they were growing up. This is a tradition to remember the men and women who have fought and died for our freedom,” said Lee Nissen, a Cranbury resident attending the parade.

The parade went from Plainsboro Road, east to Maplewood Avenue, south to Park Place East, west to North Main Street, and then south to Memorial Park.

“I have been in Cranbury since 1981 this is just great to see so many families out here to remember those who sacrificed, which is so important,” said Bobbie Marlowe, a Cranbury resident.

There was a welcome addition back to the parade in 2019, which was the return of a color guard leading the parade.

This year Seton Hall Army ROTC Pershing Rifles Co. K-8 cadets Jacob Garrett, Mekalia Dublin, Woochan Jeon and Bella Fisher made the trip to Cranbury to lead the parade.

The groups that participated in the parade included the Cranbury Cub Scouts Pack 52 troop, the Cranbury Girl Scouts troop 72703, the Cranbury Boy Scout troop 52, the Cranbury Woman’s Club, and the Cranbury Fire Department.

Mitch Kolver, a resident and Korean War veteran, said Memorial Day means a lot to him.

“Unfortunately people think it is a happy day and the day should be in memory of those of us who did not make it. They sacrificed their lives so we may enjoy the country that we live in,” he said. “It means so much to me to see Cranbury residents out here today, people come out to these things to honor those who sacrificed. Today is a day of memory and mourning if you will.”

Kolver said it is important to remember why these men and women died.

“They died to enhance and encourage a free and democratic society,” he said.

Kolver’s wife, Anne Kolver, declared that Memorial Day means keeping people like her free.

“I don’t think we in the United States realize what that freedom is. We should not only remember people who have died just today but everyday. Their sacrifice gave us the freedom to live our lives the way we want,”  she said.

The parade participants also included the Cranbury Twirlers, the St. David’s Episcopal Church, the Cranbury Lions Club the Plainsboro Rescue Squad and the Cranbury-Plainsboro Little League.

Resident Anthony Nichols said Memorial Day is not about hotdogs, hamburgers and picnics.

“This day is about the men and women who sacrificed their time and lives to keep this country great and for what it stands for which is our freedoms. Our flag stands for their sacrifice so it is important to remember them everyday,” he said. “It just should not be certain holidays.”

For Committeeman Matt Scott he said Memorial Day means community and means a time to remember.

“It is important to remember our veterans. We need to keep them front and center of mind. It is just fantastic to see so many residents out here today to honor and remember those who have sacrificed their lives and family members,” he said. “This day just reinvigorates my sense of community for my neighbors and fellow man.

Scott said he hopes resident’s takeaway from the parade that the primary coming up next week, is due to those who have served to preserve democracy and people’s right to vote.

Following the parade, a post parade ceremony took place at Memorial Park, which is next the Cranbury Firehouse.

Flags at the Memorial were lowered and raised, as well as, two wreaths were place in front of the Memorial Park Monument.

Mayor James Taylor gave the keynote address and urged those in attendance to understand that freedom comes at a cost.

Live music being played during the annual Cranbury Memorial Day parade on May 27.
The Cranbury Fire Department walks down the streets during the annual Cranbury Memorial Day parade on May 27.
Members of the Cranbury Woman's Club walk down the streets during the annual Cranbury Memorial Day parade on May 27.
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