Monday, May 27, 2013


Memorial Day 2013
Remarks by Mayor Vic De Luca

On behalf of my colleagues on the Maplewood Township Committee – Kathy Leventhal, Jerry Ryan, Marlon Brownlee and India Larrier – I wish you a safe and peaceful Memorial Day.

Thank you Maplewood Memorial Post 10120 Veterans of Foreign Wars for sponsoring today’s parade and memorial service. Because of your efforts, we will always remember the shoulders on which we stand, those who fought and died to protect our freedoms.

Some forty years ago I was a college anti-war activist and never thought that I would be making remarks at a Memorial Day service. Like many in my generation, I was confused about how to honor the fallen warriors without honoring war itself.

But that confusion is gone. The liberties I enjoy today – including the right to speak out against war – were preserved and strengthened by the actions of more than 1.2 million American men and women who died in past and current military conflicts. We will never know what these heroes would have attained had they lived but we do know that their personal sacrifices allow us to live life to the fullest.

Those we honor on Memorial Day are the people – sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands – who bravely paid the ultimate price so we could live in a free society. They and their families deserve our everlasting gratitude and our promise to work to protect the ideals and freedoms for which they died.

We are proud to be Americans. And in Maplewood, we are what is best about our nation. We embrace diversity yet are united as one people. Our open and welcoming community represents the liberty that America promises and that so many gave of their lives to protect.

Today is a time of remembrance and reflection. And we join hundreds of communities across this great land in honoring those who gave of their lives to protect ours.

President Abraham Lincoln told us it was the job of the living to remember the sacrifices made and that it was our responsibility to complete the promise of the founding principles of our nation. Let us join together to work for peace and justice and seek to end conflict and violence throughout the world. Today, we honor the fallen warriors by pledging to make our world a better and safer place for our children and generations to come.

Thank you.

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