The Township of North Brunswick will be commemorating Memorial Day in a variety of ways via a virtual setting.
“This year, we know what it is like to be separated from people and things that we love,” Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said in a prepared statement. “This year, more than in other years, we owe it to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation to honor their gift, the gift of their days. Days of their own lives sacrificed so the days of our lives can be lived as free people.”
A video will feature a wreath-laying ceremony at Sabella Park and Womack’s interview with Virginia Sedock, sister of Pfc. Joseph Sabella, who was killed in action during the Korean War on July 18, 1952.
The segment will be followed by the township’s annual Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony. It will include remarks from Womack and American Legion 459 Senior Vice Commander Richard Pender, along with a wreath laying by Womack, Council President Ralph Andrews and Councilman Bob Davis at Veterans Park.
U.S. Navy veteran Melanie Paccillo will recite “In Flanders Field” at Elmwood Cemetery with the National Anthem sung by Sabrina van Vliet, alum of North Brunswick Township High School (NBTHS) and Purchase College SUNY, “God Bless America” by Livingston Park Elementary School music teacher Elizabeth Fackelman and students, a poem by North Brunswick Municipal Alliance member Aryan Anad, and “Taps” played by NBTHS sophomore Nataly Lukonin, performed at various locations.
Additional Memorial Day commemoration videos will include patriotic artwork from students of the four North Brunswick elementary schools; a panel discussion with Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, NBTHS and Linwood Middle School administrators highlighting the history and advancement of medical improvements and the ultimate sacrifices of those lives lost; and a wartime research project from North Brunswick Township High School and Linwood Middle School students. Discussion panelists include moderator Pete Clark; NBTHS members Mark Zielinski, former NBTHS Social Studies teacher/current Dean, and Tracy Latchaw, guidance counselor and active service member; and Linwood Middle School members Katie Dwyer, supervisor of ELA and Social Studies, Ed Shaffrey, school nurse (U.S. Navy veteran, retired), Rob Route, eighth grade Social Studies teacher (U.S. Army veteran) and Brad Le Pre, eighth grade math teacher (U.S. Navy veteran).
Each video will have on demand links posted at www.northbrunswicknj.gov, be featured on the township’s social media pages and be broadcast on North Brunswick TV (Channel 15 on Optimum and Channel 39 on Verizon FIOS). Airing times will be posted on the channel’s website, http://cablecast.northbrunswicknj.gov/CablecastPublicSite/?channel=1.
This year’s North Brunswick Memorial Day 5K Run/Walk also went virtual as runners were asked to complete their run or walk anywhere. Register at https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/NorthBrunswick/NB5k by May 24. Results will be posted on the township website on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.