By Tina Pappas
The holiday season filled the air with a poignant sense of remembrance as the Wreaths Across America convoy stopped by the Borough on Dec. 14.
The non-profit organization holds National Wreaths Across America Day, with a mission to remember, honor and teach by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The non-profit organization also holds ceremonies at additional locations throughout the U.S., and abroad.
A convoy of vehicles carrying American flags and ornate wreaths passed by on Union Blvd. as local residents and officials waved and saluted from the sidewalks. Many were in awe of the significance of the ceremony and how important it is to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service, especially around the holidays.
Several attendees commented on the ceremony and spoke of the impact it makes.
“Remembering those who gave us our freedom,” said Ingrid Battagliese, local resident. “Thank you to all who have sacrificed and served our country.”
Local resident Carol Shipman Greenough echoed the sentiment.
“It was beautiful! Such an amazing tribute to our fallen vets! Totowa strong!”
Local resident Mark Reynolds added, “Outstanding, from the convoy to all first responders, to all who lined Union Blvd., especially our Veterans. It was truly amazing to see.”
Recreation Director Mark Monteyne also said the ceremony was a true testimonial to fallen heroes.
“We stand tall for their sacrifice and for our freedom,” he added. “Another example of ‘Totowa Strong’ and ‘live’ on
the boulevard was truly represented. It was unbelievable to witness the passion and pride our community borough has.”
Senator Kristin M. Corrado said she was honored to have Wreaths Across America pass by, including many “Gold Star” families traveling through Totowa as they make their way to Arlington National Cemetery.
“Our community came together to remember our fallen service members and to teach our children the value of freedom,” Corrado added.
Councilwoman Debbie Andriani said the holiday season is a time to especially remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
“In the season of giving, it is truly fitting to honor and remember those who have given their lives in service to our great nation,” she explained. “Seeing the Wreaths Across America convoy travel through Totowa as they make their way to Arlington National Cemetery reinvigorated my spirits and love of country.”
She also thanked all who came out to honor those who traveled through Totowa.
“It’s a night we will all never forget,” Andriani added.
Mayor John Coiro also commented on the significance of the evening’s ceremony.
“Watching the convoy drive through Totowa brought a sense of pride and patriotism to me,” Coiro explained. “I was impressed by our residents who greeted and waved flags along the entire stretch of Union Blvd. Thanks also to Totowa and West Paterson fire departments for hoisting the giant American flag for the convoy to drive under.”
Photos courtesy of Mark Monteyne