Continuing a proud annual tradition in Manchester Township, our hometown United States Service Members were honored during a moving Veterans Day ceremony outside of Town Hall on November 11, 2023.
“It is an honor to stand for you and to offer our heartfelt appreciation to the veterans who bravely defend our nation,” said Mayor Rob Arace during his keynote address. “On this Veterans Day, we come together to remember the unwavering commitment and selflessness of those who have answered the call to protect our great nation.”
Honored guest Congressman Chris Smith next offered remarks, beginning by thanking Roger P. Grenier, chairman of Manchester Township’s Veterans Advisory Committee, for the organization’s advocacy work performed on behalf of our local veterans in need of assistance.
“Because of your selfless sacrifice and bravery, we are free, and we can hope for a sustainable peace and a better tomorrow,” said Congressman Smith. “Peace through strength has no meaning whatsoever without you.”
Proudly joining the ceremony were elected officials including Township Council President Roxanne Conniff and Councilmembers Michelle Zolezi and James Vaccaro. It was a moving morning of musical remembrances, featuring bagpiper John Giblin, who performed the “National Anthem,” Amazing Grace,” and the “Military Medley” in honor of each branch of service. To close the ceremony, Larry Butts performed “Taps.”
Additional guest speakers included Michael Boll, president of the New Jersey Veterans Network and New Jersey VFW VSO, and Doris C. Brock, who both spoke about their advocacy work for veterans. Rev. David Rittinger, Whiting Bible Church, offered the Invocation and Benediction. Veterans in attendance were honored with certificates commemorating their decorated service presented by Geri Oliverie Hennicke of Oliverie Funeral Home.
On behalf of Mayor Arace and the Township Council, Manchester Township is grateful to everyone who attended and participated in creating such a memorable ceremony honoring our veterans. This annual tradition holds significant meaning to all of our local veterans, as well as our Manchester community that gathers to honor their service.
A very special thank you goes to Manchester Recreation and our Veterans Advisory Committee for organizing this annual tradition, and to Buildings and Grounds for staging the event. Additionally, thank you to the Manchester High School Junior ROTC, Manchester Police, Manchester Division of Emergency Services, Whiting Fire Company Sta. 33, Ridgeway Vol. Fire Co. #1 Sta. 34, and Manchester Volunteer Fire Department Sta 32 for their continued support of our veterans.