Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gestures of Gratitude Small and Large

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gestures of Gratitude Small and Large

Article excerpt

The lightning-warning siren wailed at the Apple Ridge Country Club in Mahwah on Sunday morning and golfers in red shirts held their swings and stood silent.

The brief tribute to fallen and wounded soldiers was part of the first-ever "wear red" day at the club to raise funds and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. That non-profit organization, based in Jacksonville, Fla., funds programs that help injured service men and women.

"It's a small effort to help those doing the heavy lifting, the real work," Steve Masi said of soldiers. Masi, an avid golfer from Mahwah, served in the Navy from 1952 to 1955.

A couple of hours later in Totowa, a wreath was placed at a monument to local war heroes in Veterans Memorial Park; it was followed by the playing of taps. Members of the American Legion post then fired three volleys. The solemn ceremony was part of the borough's annual Memorial Day parade.

"The younger children are excited about being on the float, but people who remember the Second World War and the First World War, they remember what this is all about,'' said Mary Calvetti of Paterson, a member of the Passaic Valley Elks Lodge who participated in the procession, and whose late husband was a veteran. "I wish the [deployed soldiers] well; they all need it."

The remembrance at the golf course and Totowa's parade were among several North Jersey events on Sunday. Today, about 70 events are scheduled in Bergen and Passaic counties.

Totowa's march drew hundreds of spectators along Union Boulevard, who waved flags and clapped for the veterans.

"This is a meaningful parade and a meaningful day," said Ron Boronio, who sat in a green lawn chair near his wife.

Lynda Gelber of Wayne sat behind her two sets of twins, who grinned with excitement and carried brown lunch bags where they stored lollipops, Tootsie Rolls and other candy that had been thrown to onlookers. Gelber said even though her four daughters, ages 6 and 9, look forward to the treats and parade, she has taught them the true meaning of the day. …

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