Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dedication of WWII Memorial

Hundreds of Hoboken residents were on hand today to take part in ribbon-cutting activities for the city's new World War II memorial on the waterfront. The ceremony, which was open to the public, began at 1 p.m. just south of Sinatra Park. The event featured family members of the 159 Hoboken residents who died in World War II. In attendance were also many veterans of foreign wars, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Hoboken resident, State Senator Brian Stack, Superintendent of Schools Jack Raslowsky, the Hoboken City Council, Mayor David Roberts and a performance by the USO Liberty Belles. Students from the Hoboken Public Schools had the greatest honor of all as they read the names of the 159 fallen soldiers followed by a single bell after each name. In addition, the Hoboken Band performed a number of patriotic songs during the ceremony. The memorial, designed by Dean Marchetto architects, is set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline and features a small park and a bronze statue of two soldiers supporting each other. Helmets sit on top of 21 rifles behind the statue. A number of moving speeches were presented during the 2+ hour ceremony which at times was accompanied by a driving rain storm. The event at times was both solemn and celebratory as the sacrifice these young men paid resonated throughout the audience.