Lest we forget

Memorial Day, May 25, 2020

Though not the “normal” Memorial Day ceremony, Bill Brown of our Veteran’s Committee could not let the day pass without remembering the men and women who fought and died for our freedom.

Starting in 2011, the Riverton Military & Veterans Affairs Committee repurposed the Honor Roll to also include names of “…any present or former resident of the Borough of Riverton, New Jersey who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America during a time of war…” This Memorial Day the Riverton Military & Veterans Affairs Committee added names of three Riverton servicemen to the Honor Roll displayed on the Riverton War Memorial:

Richard L. Brunker 2nd Lt., USMC & US Army
Charles A. Kirby Staff Sgt., US Air Force
Robert Olmstead, USN

Veterans Day observed here Monday, Nov. 11

There is perhaps no history lesson more important than for us to acknowledge the military service of our veterans.

On Monday, November 11, 2019, around 10:30 am, Veterans and Auxiliary Supporters from Riverside’s VFW Post 3020 will serve as Honor Guard for Riverton’s Veterans Day ceremony at the Riverton War Memorial on Main Street.

Memorial Day 2013

The organization typically has a busy week with several appearances at ceremonies in the area.

The names of these Riverton servicemen will be added to the Honor Roll displayed there:

      • Jerome Gasiorowski USN
      • Bernard J. Swiderek US Army
      • Gerard E. Hendricks USCG
      • Scott D. Mayes USN
      • J.L. Yearly US Army

Contact us if you are able to send scans of service photos for these or any other members of the armed services listed on the Honor Roll.

Since 1946, the monument on Main Street has displayed names of Riverton residents who served in the US Armed Forces during World War Two.

postcard scan courtesy of Mrs. Betty Hahle

Former Town Historian Mrs. Betty B. Hahle wrote a concise history of the War Memorial for the 2004 July Fourth Program booklet, and this 2011 post chronicles the construction of that tribute to veterans.

This plaque displays the name of Navy veteran Mr. Gene J. Bandine, at left, and dozens of others added since Memorial Day 2011.

Starting in 2011, the Riverton Military & Veterans Affairs Committee repurposed the Honor Roll to also include names of “…any present or former resident of the Borough of Riverton, New Jersey who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America during a time of war…”

BCT columnist Jeannie O’Sullivan‘s 2012 article “List of Riverton’s military heroes keeps growing” features a profile of USN veteran George A. Mack.

Riverton’s Military & Veterans Affairs Committee seeks to add more names to the Memorial and is also interested in obtaining old military uniforms, medals, and military equipment. Please contact Bill Brown, through the form below. -JMc

 

Memorial Day service at the War Memorial May 24, 2019

The Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Sunday May 24 between 10:15 & 10:30 AM at the Riverton War Memorial. The names of four Riverton servicemen will be added to the Honor Roll displayed there:
Seith A. Hartman
Robert Wallace
John R. Frazier
Edward B. Kane III

A special plaque honoring Riverton’s six World War I Gold Star Boys will also be installed. The VFW and American Legion will be there also.

postcard scan courtesy of Mrs. Betty Hahle

Contact rivertonhistory@gmail.com if you are able to send scans of service photos for these or any other members of the armed services listed on the Honor Roll.

 

Riverton thanks its veterans and installs plaques for Gold Star Boys and nurses of WWI

 

On Sunday, November 11, 2018 Bob Smyth and Bill Brown officiated over a short ceremony which renewed our gratitude to all  veterans for their service to our community.

In observance of the Centennial Commemoration of World War I, Riverton’s Veterans Affairs Committee installed two plaques bearing six names of Riverton’s Gold Star Boys and four names of nurses who served during the Great War.

 

 

 

 

Riverton supports its many resident service members and veterans and is grateful for their sacrifices, especially for the sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price with their lives.

By displaying the official State Killed in Action (K.I.A.) flag we recognize all members of the Armed Forces who were killed in action, or died of wounds resulting from injuries received in action, in any conflict in which the United States has been involved.

Thank you to Veterans and Auxiliary Supporters from VFW Post 3020 for serving as Honor Guard.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Revised: Nov. 12, 2018

We always welcome another photographer’s perspective on Riverton’s Veterans Day ceremony and extend sincere thanks to Councilman Jim Quinn for allowing us to display his photographs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Veterans Day Observance Sunday, 10:30-11am, Nov. 11

A special Veterans Day observance will recognize four women who served and six men who died in World War I

WWI Honor Roll, The New Era, April 11, 1919, p4

To commemorate the Centennial of World War I, HSR President Bill Brown will officiate this coming Veterans Day November 11, 2018, between 10:30 & 11:00, as we honor the following men who were killed in The Great War with a special plaque on Riverton’s War Memorial:

James A Bradley
Charles Kelley
Walter M. Kennedy
Raymond T. McGivney
Raymond Pratt
Thomas R. Reath

The Jan. 2017 issue of Gaslight News featured a story about the men above, “Riverton’s Gold Star Boys” by Mrs. Patricia Smith Solin.

The NJ State Legislature designated in August the Killed in Action (K.I.A.) flag as an official State flag to memorialize members of the Armed Forces of the United States who were killed in a US involved conflict. Riverton will officially receive its K.I.A. flag to be flown above the Memorial.

Helen Elsie Biddle

The ceremony will recognize the following four women who served as nurses in World War I:

Helen Elsie Biddle
Edith S. Coale
Amanda Faunce
Edith Holvick

On the Home Front,” by Mrs. Patricia Smith Solin in the March 2017 Gaslight News mentions the nurses.

Riverton’s Veterans Affairs Committee seeks to add more names to the memorial and is also interested in obtaining old military uniforms, medals, and military equipment. Please contact me, Bill Brown, at 856-303-8513 , or JYD9168@verizon.net.  – Bill  Brown

Recognition for four hometown vets Nov. 6

vetsday-2016On November 6, a small group of residents gathered at the Riverton War Memorial to commemorate Veterans Day 2016 and to see names of four more members of the armed forces added to the Honor Roll.

  • John W. Kohms
  • Bernard J. Swiderek
  • Anderson B. Winters Jr.
  • Alexander Cole

Appreciative friends and family members associated with those being recognized watched as Bob Smyth and Bill Brown officiated over the short ceremony.

Contact rivertonhistory@gmail.com if you are able to send scans of service photos for these or any other members of the armed services listed on the Honor Roll. – JMc

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

HONORING RIVERTON VETERANS early, Sunday, Nov.6

The following names will be added to the Honor Roll at Riverton War Memorial to mark Veterans Day, Sunday, November 6, 2016 @10:30 a.m. (Veterans Day is on the following Friday, Nov. 11.)

  • John W. Kohms
  • Bernard J. Swiderek
  • Anderson B. Winters Jr.
  • Alexander Cole
Palmyra Weekly News, April 6, 1917
Palmyra Weekly News, April 6, 1917

Contact rivertonhistory@gmail.com if you are able to send scans of service photos for these or any other members of the armed services listed on the Honor Roll.

To mark the Centennial Commemoration of the US entry into WWI in 2017, the HSR will publish articles to honor the service of its armed forces, as well as to depict what life was like in Riverton during the war. Here’s a preview in the news clipping at right.

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

Matthew P. Basara, Sr., lived in Riverton from 1959 until his death in 1991 at 203 Bank Avenue. He served in WWII in the Coast Guard and was honorably discharged.
Matthew P. Basara, Sr., lived in Riverton from 1959 until his death in 1991 at 203 Bank Avenue. He served in WWII in the Coast Guard and was honorably discharged.

President Obama said of Memorial Day in his address of May 28…

It’s the day we stop to reflect with gratitude on the sacrifice of generations who made us more prosperous and free, and to think of the loved ones they left behind.

Remembering them – searing their stories and their contributions into our collective memory – that’s an awesome responsibility.  It’s one that all of us share as citizens. 

Matthew P. Basara’s name will be added to the Honor Roll during Riverton’s Memorial Day service on Sunday, May 29, at 10:30 AM at the War Memorial on Main Street.

Maryann Fallows sent in this photo of her father. If you have any photos or hometown news clippings that we could include when we next update the Riverton Veterans Album, please contact me, John McCormick.

You can read President Obama’s entire remarks containing acts of remembrance at whitehouse.gov  – JMc

Lest we forget

Honor Roll and Band Stand, Palmyra, NJ undated postcard
Honor Roll and Band Stand, Palmyra, NJ undated postcard
Veterans Honor Roll Monument, Riverton, NJ
Veterans Honor Roll Monument, Riverton, NJ

The meticulously cared for Memorials to veterans in Riverton and Palmyra show the high regard and great respect with which citizens of these sister towns hold their veterans.

The Riverton Memorial Day service will be held on Sunday, May 29, at 10:30 AM. The VFW & American Legion will be present.

Two names, Matthew Basara and James McDermott will be added.

Should you find yourself in the area on Sunday, stop by and pay your respects.  – JMc

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Rites of November

Betten Residence, 2nd and Main Sts.
Betten Residence, 2nd and Main Sts.

In the week preceding Veterans Day, Indian Summer temperatures finally retreated from this historic borough and the bill came due for living in Tree City – leaves!

The spectacular autumn hues were no more evident than at the corner of Second and Main Street near a home that has probably seen more changes of seasons than any other in Riverton.

Mike Spinelli clears leaves on Bank Avenue 11-4-2015
Mike Spinelli clears leaves on Bank Avenue 11-4-2015

Down the street, Michael Spinelli attacks a leaf clean-up on Bank Avenue while piles of collected foliage await pickup by the public works crew.

You just know Mike will have to do that all over again in a couple of days.

Until recently, the Riverton War Memorial had been showing its nearly three score and ten years, but it now benefits from the results of a serious recent restoration including brick pointing, a new roof and installation of a vent, and a new sign.

It also sports some new plaques to accommodate the original names and allow for additional names.

VetsDay 2015 01Since 1946, the monument on Main Street has displayed names of Riverton residents who served in the US Armed Forces during World War Two.

Since 2011, the Riverton Military & Veterans Affairs Committee has repurposed the Honor Roll to also include names of “…any present or former resident of the Borough of Riverton, New Jersey who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America during a time of war…”

The decision four years ago was not without its critics.

The Riverton Honor Roll stands today as a tangible community symbol and public acknowledgement of the sacrifice all of our veterans have made for our nation.

VetsDay 2015 05With this effort we express gratitude to veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan and other conflicts, and we let them know that we appreciate and honor them for their service.

VetsDay 2015 10They come and peer through the glass and they look for their names and the names of their buddies; moms pick up the kids so they can see, too.

It is an undeniable truth of the world in which we live, that we must also now thank new generations of men and women who have defended our country and given us the freedom we enjoy today.

Thank you to Veterans and Auxiliary Supporters from VFW Post 3020.  Members of Richard W. Baskin’s family came to support him as his name was included on the Honor Roll that day. He holds his father’s service photo. – JMC