There’s a lot to bitch about in Hoboken. Hell, at this point I’ve pretty much made a career out of it.
Here’s the thing—in such a target-rich environment, you might want to save your ammo for the stuff that truly matters. Because unlike our men and women in uniform, you actually get to pick your battles. Griping about traffic woes from a Memorial Day parade is one you might want to step away from…
Last night Hoboken held its 117th Annual Memorial Day Parade. The City announced it on Monday.
— City of Hoboken (@CityofHoboken) May 18, 2015
Local media, hMAG.com included, ran stories on the parade. We sent out reminders, even suggesting that you might want to take the parade into account when making your plans for the evening. We weren’t the only ones…
— HobokenGirl.com (@HobokenGirlBlog) May 20, 2015
And yet, the predictable flood of bitching, griping and complaining still rained down from social media:
The Hoboken Memorial Day Parade is the oldest continuous parade in the State of New Jersey.
Fair enough question. Should we have it over the weekend, when everyone is Down the Shore? That way it wouldn’t inconvenience anyone. Or maybe we could have it at noon, when no one would be around to see it. How about 2 a.m.?
Right on, bro… Tell me, what’s a good time—convenient for YOU—to honor the memory of our fallen fighting men and women? What’s a good time to celebrate those who dedicate their lives to protect your freedoms? And if you could, try to pick the time when NOBODY will complain…
Nicely done. As the Mayor thanks everyone for their attendance, that’s the best opportunity for you to express your displeasure over the fact that they were there at all.
Okay, we get it—you’re pissed off. But why are we shooting pizza???
Yes, Hoboken is a city. But keep in mind, Hoboken is also a community. Before it became your post-collegiate dorm room, Hoboken had people making lives here—people with deep roots and a proud heritage of civic involvement.
Hoboken also played pivotal roles in the service of our nation. Troops embarked from Hoboken, bound for Europe in World War I. They were given three options by the Commander of the American Expedtionary Force, General John “Blackjack” Pershing—”Heaven, Hell or Hoboken.” Some of them returned to Hoboken at the War’s end. Many of them did not.
Of those who did not return, 71 were men who called Hoboken “home.” The Second World War saw a staggering 263 of our citizens killed in action. In the Korean War, we lost another three. Nine Hoboken men died in Vietnam.
“For a square mile,” said the American Legion’s Jack O’Brien, in a 2011 interview with hMAG, “that’s a hell of a sacrifice.”
It is indeed. All they ask in return is for an hour each year to honor their memory.
Try to take that on board next year, before firing off a tone-deaf missive about how you’ve been inconvenienced. Traffic is brutal on any given day in Hoboken. With headlines like “Hoboken Road Closures Make Driving Futile,” we here at hMAG are certainly no apologists, having voiced our own frustrations about it.
But this parade is a situation where the community comes together to celebrate. If you weren’t aware of the parade, then perhaps you should become more engaged with your community. If you knew about it, and you still don’t think it’s worth the inconvenience, well then obviously you have the right to express that opinion—thanks to those we honored on Washington Street last night.