The Bayonne Veterans Day ceremony was held at the American Legion Post 19 on Broadway last night to honor those who served.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
Master of Ceremonies Michael Ransom said he was “grateful to have begun to come through to the other side of this pandemic where we can go out in public and come to events like this.”
“The pandemic itself has touched our lives in ways that we will never forget,” he added.
Mayor Jimmy Davis and Council President Sharon Nadrowski were among several elected officials who attended the event.
“To all who serve, let me just say from a grateful city, and on behalf of the City of Bayonne, thank you,” Davis stated.
He also said regarding the phrase thank you, “When it is said to a veteran, it means more than when it is said for anything else.
“When you say thank you to a veteran, think of what it is that you’re saying.”
Nadrowski echoed a similar sentiment.
“Thank you for your service and your bravery because, without you, we wouldn’t be sitting here,” she said.
“We all know the sacrifices made and when people come home when their service has ended, it doesn’t mean their experience is over. They still need to be thanked. They still need to be supported.”
Nadrowski also noted that veterans often need help readjusting to society when they come home.
“People need to understand it’s ok to ask for help, and there are people in your community here to help you,” said the council president.
1st Ward Councilman Neil Carroll noted a heroic story he heard of a soldier who died trying to help wounded soldiers as part of a helicopter crew.
“I appreciate being invited here every year and appreciate your friendship because every moment you teach me something new, and it’s valuable. So thank you for your service,” he said.
Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army, Michael Embrich, a Navy veteran who joined after 9/11 and a Bayonne native, spoke well of veteran’s posts.
“They have taken such a hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually, this room is filled with families, creating those kind of memories, birthday parties and the stuff that. But they’ve been empty for the better part of the last two years,” he explained.
“That was a huge revenue driver for these posts … and they’ve taken a hit. I spoke to the governor’s office recently about possibly getting COVID-19 relief money.”
He called on local officials to ensure the post remains open and active, since it’s a “safety net for veterans” who are on the verge of crisis, particularly since the recent withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan led to a spike in veteran suicides.
“It’s very important these posts stay open,” added American Legion Post 19 Commander Mike Wilson, noting their work to prevent veteran suicide and providing coats to the needy during the winter.
At the ceremony’s conclusion, Sean McCauley, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, presented one of the last American flags flown in Afghanistan to Davis, who accepted it on behalf of the city.