Photos of Montgomery Veterans Day Observance

Posted on November 20, 2015

On Wednesday, November 11, the Montgomery community showed its appreciation for our military veterans at a procession and ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Montgomery Veterans Park.  Featured speaker was Augustus Dante, a Vietnam War era veteran, and a leader of Rolling Thunder (N.J. Chapter), which increases awareness of the issue of POW-MIAs. Mayor Christine Madrid also offered remarks.  The event was organized by the Montgomery Veterans Memorial Committee, led by Chairman and former Mayor Robert Kress. The Montgomery High School Marching Band, Boy Scout Troops 46 & 850, Girl Scout Troop 61215, first responders from Fire Co. 1 & 2, MEMS, and other volunteers and members of the public participated in this year’s observance.


Here are some highlights of the event:

Montgomery Girl Scout Troop #61215 greeted the public and provided hand-made red, white & blue ribbon lapel pins to veterans to honor them.

A rendition of Amazing Grace was performed on bagpipe by Retired Montgomery Twp. Police Captain James Curry at the Memorial site to open the event. A procession then moved down Harlingen Road from the corner of Devon and Harlingen Rd. to the Memorial site. The procession featured the Montgomery High School Marching Band, Volunteer Fire Company #1 Station 45, Volunteer Fire Company #2 Station 46, Montgomery Emergency Medical Services, and Boy Scout Troops 46 & 850.

Navy veteran, MVM member and former Twp. Administrator Pete Rayner opened the ceremony.

Members of Boy Scout Troops 850 and 46 presented the colors (flags) at the podium. The National Anthem was performed by the MHS Marching Band.

Proclamation was read by  Peter Rayner who introduces MVM Chairman Bob Kress, Chair, Montgomery Veterans Memorial Committee, who made opening remarks.

The Featured Speaker was Augustus J. Dante (Gus) – a resident of Somerset County for 74 years and a Veteran with 8 years of military service. He is a member of Post 12 American Legion Somerville, NJ and life member of The Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 452.  He is active in Rolling Thunder, Inc. a veterans advocacy group.

Closing Remarks were made by Montgomery Mayor Christine Madrid.

The Montgomery High School Marching Band performed Andantino by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Solo trumpet player Joe Lockwood and a brass ensemble performed Taps.

Boy Scout Troop 46 retired the colors (flags) from the podium to end the ceremony.

A Lincoln Witness Tree was dedicated at the Memorial. Many  members of the public participated after the ceremony by helping plant the tree with a shovelful of soil each. This is a descendant of the original “Abraham Lincoln Witness Tree,” a 160 year old Honey Locust, and the only living witness to Lincoln delivering his revered Gettysburg Address.

The Montgomery Veterans Memorial Committee is an organizing and fundraising entity which envisioned, planned, constructed and maintains the Montgomery Veterans Memorial and observances held at it in Montgomery Veterans Park.  The MVM Committee was formed to create a lasting and living memorial to those Montgomery residents who have served our nation in times of war. The Montgomery Veterans Memorial is dedicated site suitable for contemplation and awareness of the sacrifices of others, as well as for public gatherings for patriotic observances at various times throughout the year. For more information, go to

Source: Montgomery Township Veterans Memorial Committee