On November 11, more than 200 people participated in a Veterans Day memorial service and celebration at Cedar Crest, an active continuing care retirement community in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.
"Veterans Day at Cedar Crest is always very special, particularly seeing so many of our veterans dressed in some portion of their uniforms filing into the chapel to patriotic music. You can't help but stand and applaud them," said Cedar Crest Pastoral Ministries Manager Bert Moore, who spent five years in the Marine Corps as an artillery officer and 25 years in the Navy as a chaplain until 2007.
Veterans, from World War II to Vietnam, wore some portion of their military uniform to the event and residents on campus were dressed in red, white and blue.
The program included a procession of veterans to patriotic music; welcome and greetings from Emmaus for Veterans' Tom Frodella and Cedar Crest Executive Director Lou Varella; medley of service songs; "The National Anthem" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee" by the Cedar Crest Chorale; an invocation and benediction by Cedar Crest Pastoral Ministries Manager Bert Moore; and donation collection for Emmaus for Veterans.
In addition, veterans gave remarks during the program including resident and Korean War veteran Ed Sholander, Cedar Crest staff member Sam Panebianco, and ENS Ivie Hicks. Panebianco was in the Navy onboard a ship receiving wounded from the Bay of Pigs incident in Cuba. ENS Ivie Hicks is currently on active duty and has been for 13 years. He is prior enlisted stationed at Ft. Meade, Maryland and in March will transfer to the USS SHOUPE (DDG 86).
The service ended with the song "Let There Be Peace on Earth," with piano accompaniment by Cedar Crest resident Elaine Thomas.