North Bergen and Hudson County officials gathered at James J. Braddock Park Thursday afternoon to cut the ribbon for the new veterans memorial.
North Bergen Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8) conducted the ceremony alongside various other elected officials at the memorial site.
â€œWhether a veteran or not, it is special to recognize the hard work and dedication of every veteran which has allowed for us to be here today,” Vainieri said.
Vainieri continued to talk about the dedication the township gave back to the veterans by working on this memorial site which has â€œbeen in the works for years.”
Following Vainieri, other officials such as Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff and North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32) gave brief remarks.
Sacco went on to call the memorial site a once â€œdust bowlâ€ which has been changed to â€œbeautiful fieldsâ€, continuing that â€œthe veterans deserves a monument like this and a beautiful park in honor of those who served our country.”
Officials broke ground on the $6.1 million park just under one year ago: on January 24, 2015.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari and North Bergen Commissioners Hugo Cabrera, Alan Pascual and Julio Marenco were also in attendance at the event.
The statement by Mr. Sacco that the “dustbowl” isn’t needed because its been replaced by the recreational fields across the street is just plain wrong. This is not a criticism of the Veteran’s memorial.
The synthetic grass fields across the street replaced the natural grass and open space with fences and locks designed to keep the public out – only a few people can now use that part of the park on a seasonal basis – if they have a permit.
This loss of open space will be exacerbated by North Bergen and Hudson County’s “diversion” application to the State which would allow the North Bergen Preschool trailers to permanently stay in the Park and eventually be replaced by a permanent building.
Please help stop this loss of open space by signing this petition: