It’s Monday, and like the rest of you we’re already looking ahead to this weekend… MEMORIAL DAY 2017.
Yet before we all head Down the Shore, stock up our coolers and fire up the grills, it’s essential that we take a moment to acknowledge the true spirit of this solemn holiday.
Memorial Day is a celebration of those members of the military and first responders who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country.
To that end, we will have the Hoboken Memorial Day Parade 2017. on Wednesday night, assembling on Washington Street at 6:00 p.m.
Now in its 119th year, this event is New Jersey’s longest-running parade.
The fact that it’s on a Wednesday night can certainly be tricky, for a more than a few of us. However, before we take to social media and gripe about traffic (which we’ve seen already), please keep in mind:
- Hoboken is now and forever has been a community—long before it became a desirable commuter mecca with a dynamic, high-end real estate market.
- Hoboken served as the point of departure for troops leaving in World War I, exactly 100 years ago.
- Hoboken lost 71 souls in that “war to end all wars,” followed by 263 men in World War II, three men in Korea and nine in Vietnam—a substantial toll for one square mile to pay.
- Among the reasons Hoboken doesn’t hold its parade on Memorial Day Weekend is the fact that many Hoboken residents are out of town.
- Furthermore, many of the participating units (marching bands, first responders, military units) are typically otherwise engaged in other parades. It’s a busy time of year for them.
- Once again, it’s the 119th year—making this New Jersey’s longest-running parade.
- Let’s face it—it’s gonna be tough on traffic NO MATTER WHEN they have it…
So please plan accordingly, and try to enjoy this poignant salute to those in our community who seek to serve something bigger than themselves.
The annual parade is organized by Hoboken American Legion Post 107. The Post was washed out in Superstorm Sandy, with the original HQ restored in 2015. A new plan at 308 Second Street—coordinated between the Legion, Monarch Housing, the Hoboken Shelter, and the City of Hoboken—will serve as a flood-proof community center with six units available to area veterans in need.
“I would ask everyone in town to help in any way they can with raising the funds they need. Any amount will help but we are also hoping some businesses and individuals to step up with some larger donations, as it is a big nut we are looking to raise—but nobody deserves it more than the Vets,” says Joe Mindak, this year’s Grand Marshal. “If a donation is not possible, the best thing you can do is come to the parade to honor them. A simple ‘Thank You’ goes a long way.”
In addition to the Hoboken festivities, Fleet Week NYC will be underway, with an impressive array of events in and around New York and New York Harbor. For those of us able to enjoy the waterfront views, the annual “Parade of Ships” will take place in the Harbor starting Wednesday morning.
Enjoy your holiday, Hoboken. And let those who deserve it enjoy theirs…