North Bergen officials host annual Memorial Day ceremony at James J. Braddock Park


North Bergen officials hosted their annual Memorial Day ceremony at James J. Braddock Park to recognize the military veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

“Memorial Day is a day we honor all those we have lost. I don’t know when the world has ever been at peace. We’ve lost too many people over too many wars over too many years. Without their sacrifice … we would not be a free nation,” state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco said during the program.

“Maybe we’re not perfect. But we’re the best this world has.”

He also noted that the township honors veterans several times a year, including in an upcoming Flag Day ceremony.

Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) Chair Anthony Vainieri, who is also the North Bergen Department of Public Works commissioner, noted he stepped down from being a Hudson County commissioner to work more closely with his home town.

“That’s where my heart is, with the town of North Bergen and all the veterans and all the residents. We’ll never forget any of you who have lost your lives,” he said.

Vainieri noted his own father, Anthony P. Vainieri, Sr., who was a township commissioner and state  assemblyman, was also a World War II veteran, along with his uncle.

“For all the people who made sacrifices for this country, we honor them today. We want the younger generations to realize what this day is about. It’s about remembering the people that made you able to be here in America safe that were not able to come back,” he explained.

Julio Marenco, who didn’t seek re-election as commissioner to run for a state Assembly seat in the 33rd Legislative District, noted that this ceremony has been going strong for at least three decades.

He served as the emcee of the event and noted chapters of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) were present, along with outgoing Assemblyman Pedro Mejia and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari.

“It’s an honor to be here to keep this memory alive of who all served. They made the ultimate sacrifice. I want to thank every veteran that did serve and veterans who are serving now who keep us safe and keep our freedom Alive,”  Schillari said.

“Today is a day of remembrance and reflection. I want to honor everyone who has fallen and all of you who that have served,” said Hudson County Commissioner (D-8) Bob Baselice, who also runs the township’s parking authority.

North Bergen Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual noted that his father and uncle served in the Korean War.

“Today we have a beautiful day to remember, to remember those who have fallen, to remember those who are currently active in our armed services,” he explained.

“We thank you for everything you have done. Without you, we would not have the freedoms we have. This is one of the most important holidays we celebrate.”

North Bergen Parks and Public Property Commissioner Hugo Cabrera emphasized that younger generations need to understand the significance of this day.

“You guys fought for our freedoms. Our children, they have to understand that it’s not a good day to have off of school or good deals. We’re so appreciative of everything you’ve done for us: You’re the ones that gave us our freedoms,” he explained.

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