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Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day in Ocean Grove’

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

 

When I was growing up in Rutherford, New Jersey, a small town in Bergen County, the main event for Memorial Day was a parade down Park Avenue filled with music, marching military, boy scouts, girl scouts and other groups.

Bro' Mel Goldfinger with the Rutherford High School marching band in the annual Memorial Day parade. c. 1965.

Bro’ Mel Goldfinger with the Rutherford High School marching band in the annual Memorial Day parade. c. 1965.

Even though it was to remember dead veterans, the people decided to remember them with living memorials: happy citizens paying tribute.  As a kid marching with the RHS band, it seemed right to do that. But I had never experienced a loss during a war.

5 of my mother’s brothers came back alive from the Pacific as did Eileen’s dad who was in Europe, so as a child, I always knew about war and about the risks of war. Our families were very fortunate.

Some years later, Eileen and I went with her parents on the 40th anniversary of D Day to visit the US military cemetery overlooking the beaches of Normandy. It was a profoundly moving experience.

Our busload arrived just a few minutes before closing, but they allowed us in. It’s a good thing, because Bernie, Eileen’s dad, was determined to visit that beautiful resting place. There is no tangible remembering without the living showing up.

Rcently Eileen and I visited the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. It is not exclusively a military burial ground, but it has lots of Civil War dead there along with two US Presidents.

Hollywood Cemetery. Richmond, Virginia. April, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Hollywood Cemetery. Richmond, Virginia. April, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click photos to enlarge.

It is a gorgeous park-like place overlooking the James River. It not only pays tribute to the dead with great natural beauty and artistry, but it is alive with people—especially college students from nearby Virginia Commonwealth University.

I saw several of those students sitting on a rise, chatting, resting and looking at the river. Others were jogging and walking about. Having those young people there added a strong dimension to the experience.

Virginia Tech coeds in Hollywood Cemetery overlooking the James River. Paul Goldfinger photo April, 2016. ©

VCU  coeds in Hollywood Cemetery overlooking the James River. Paul Goldfinger photo April, 2016. ©  Click to enlarge

It seems perfectly fine and natural to honor the dead with the living, so the festive Memorial Day parade in Ocean Grove also seems appropriate along with a game of Wiffle Ball in Firemen’s Park, a bike ride up and down our historic streets, or a day at the beach.

But it would also be good if we took a moment to remember those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy our great country in peace, joy, love, and security.

LADY ANTEBELLUM.  What could be more promising of life  here than the anticipation of Christmas?

 

 

 

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Rayleigh Buckley of Neptune awaits the parade.  Photos by Paul Goldfinger  ©

Kayleigh Buckley of Neptune awaits the parade. Photos by Paul Goldfinger ©  Left click to enlarge.

Waiting in the park

Waiting in the park

Neptune High School Band

Neptune High School Band

Military unit from Neptune High School

Military unit from Neptune High School

meet and greet

meet and greet

JAMES TAYLOR.  From Oklahoma:

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