Standing up for Those Who Serve and Those who have Fallen
By Sally Deering
In these troubled times, the U.S. turns to its military, the men and women (and four-legged, bomb-sniffing soldiers) to protect America’s freedom and democracy.
On Sat, Nov. 12, starting at noon, Jersey City Mayor and U.S. Marine Veteran Steven M. Fulop and the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, local U.S. military men and women and other dignitaries will lead the 2nd annual Parade of Veterans and Heroes followed by a Veterans Resource Fair that will be held at City Hall until 5 pm.
The Parade of Veterans and Heroes is open to anyone who would like to march, especially men and women who are serving and have served in the military. Registration for participants will begin at 10 am at the Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetery on Newark Avenue near Dickinson High School. (You can also register online.)
The parade begins with a remembrance ceremony at Dickinson High School’s Vietnam Memorial and a special dedication to fallen soldier, US Army Pvt. 2, Tysheena James. The parade then kick-offs from there and heads down Newark Avenue with designated honorees Yolanda Amiker, Glen Flora, Phil Lore, John Scafidi, and John Trambley, led by Grand Marshal Tony Goodson, Vietnam Veteran and Commander of the Samuel R. Shelton Post VFW #2294.
Marching in the parade Yolanda Amiker of the U.S. Army
“It is a great honor,” Goodson says “This parade is very important for me because Vietnam vets, especially, were never really credited with the honor most war vets receive. We had a unique war, and the Vietnam veteran was unfairly treated. But I’m not so much about whining about the inequities back then. Instead, I focus my energy on the memories of all the war veterans, all the soldiers that were killed in action, the Service guys who served our country.
Parade Grand Marshal Tony Goodson,U.S. Army, NCO-E5
Following Goodson and the U.S. military men and women will be Welcome Home Vets of NJ and Eight Flames of Hope, Snyder and Dickinson High School marching bands, McNair JROTCs, celebrities like Heavyweight Boxing Champ Chuck Wepner who boxed Muhammad Ali, and lots of floats. The Line-of-March will east down Newark Avenue and will finish at Jersey City Hall with a Motorcycle and Vintage Car Show and the Veterans Resource Fair. Live entertainment will be provided by local favorites Cabaret Sauvignon and the Gully Hubbards.
At the Veterans Resource Fair following the parade, organizations like Vets Chat/Chew, Npower Technology Services Corps, and other state and non-profit groups will offer info on veterans’ housing, employment and wellness. An Opening Reception for a veterans’ art exhibit will be held in the Rotunda Gallery on the 3rd floor. All artwork created by veterans, Combat Paper, members of the police and fire departments, and active military personnel.
There will be light refreshments and a cake donated by Cake Boss Buddy of Carlos Bakery in Hoboken.
Born and raised in Jersey City, Parade Grand Marshal Tony Goodson served six years in the army including a tour-of-duty in Vietnam from 1970-71. As President of the Jersey City VFW Post #2294, Goodson hosts many events for veterans and their families. The VFW also decorates veterans’ graves at New York Bay Cemetery on Garfield Avenue, and Harsimus Cemetery on Newark Avenue in Jersey City.
“At the VFW, we have a lot of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)-affected veterans,” Goodson says. “We see the Post as a place of peace and salvation and we have dinners throughout the year for veterans and their families, where we reflect upon the blessings we have. My job is to keep that alive, to remind the public to give a little thought and thanks to a veteran and never forget the sacrifice.”
If you go
Sat, Nov. 12 at noon
2nd annual Jersey City Veterans Day Parade
Dickinson High School to City Hall
280 Grove St, JC
(Corner of Palisade Ave/Newark Ave
to City Hall on Grove Street)
To register as a vendor for the Veterans Resource Fair,
go to http://bit.ly/2d44hAR
To march in the Parade of Veterans and Heroes,
go to http://bit.ly/2d4jz6W
For more information, call Charles Sampson at (201) 547-4919
or email SampsonC@jcnj.org