Bill Brown tells us that 24 people turned out in the rain for the observance of Memorial Day at the Riverton War Memorial on Sunday morning.
Councilman Jim Quinn kindly shared photos that he took as the VFW 3020 and American Legion honored the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
In one photo Bob Smyth holds a poppy.
After the bloody WWI battle in Flanders Field, in Belgium, the bright red flower became a symbol of remembrance for those killed in service after Canadian officer and surgeon John McCrae penned the famous poem “In Flanders Fields.”
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Bob movingly called upon us to consider the poppy and not forget to honor and mourn members of the military who have passed while serving in the United States Armed Forces. -JMc
More than a decade after the end of the Great War, Riverton officially dedicated Memorial Park to the veterans of that conflict.
The plaque reads:
RIVERTON MEMORIAL PARK
Purchased May 10, 1923, for the use of the citizens of Riverton.
Dedicated July 4, 1931, to the soldiers and sailors of this borough who served their country in the World War.
When the idea to establish a fitting memorial to those who served gained favor, The New Era threw the discussion open to its readers and a debate ensued.
Among the suggestions for a memorial were a public fountain, a hospital, a community house, a permanent home and office for the Red Cross visiting nurse, a town clock, and even a sewer plant.
The New Era, Feb 21, 1919, p2
The New Era, Feb 21, 1919, p2
The New Era, Feb 21, 1919, p2
The New Era, April 18, 1919, p2
The New Era, May 9, 1919, p2
The New Era, June 20, 1919, p2
The New Era, July 18, 1919, p2
The New Era 1939 Anniversary Issue
The July 9, 1931 issue of The New Era reported that the dedication ceremony drew thousands from the area.
History tells us many ways things could have turned out differently were it not for the service of our men and women in our armed forces. Consider today and every day that the freedom and way of life that we enjoy was quite literally secured by the sacrifice of veterans.
The establishment of the Riverton War Memorial and Honor Roll listing names of veterans followed World War II.
This 2013 post describes how a simple change to the eligibility requirement resulted in adding dozens of veterans’ names from post-WWII conflicts being added to the Honor Roll. Also, find there Betty Hahle’s “History of Our War Memorial” as published in the 2004 July Fourth Program booklet. -JMc
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
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.
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.
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.
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…”
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
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.
Contact email@example.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.
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.
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.
A special Veterans Day observance will recognize four women who served and six men who died in World War I
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:
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.
The ceremony will recognize the following four women who served as nurses in World War I:
“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
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.