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

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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