It was a beautiful day weatherwise - blue skies, upper 70 degrees and low humidity. One couldn’t ask for a nicer day. For the Slattery detachment bunch, it started at 0700 AM with breakfast at the Hanover Town Community Center. There were five members when I got there at 0730 and as time went by a few more showed up to partake in the scrambled eggs, potato cakes, sausages, danish, hard rolls, orange juice, tea and coffee. The members included Anthony Fiorentino, Michael Dougherty, Joe Nally, Doc Campbell, Ed Moscariello, Jim Loizides, Alan Muzeni, Tony Oszmianski, Art Bowie and Tom Miller.
We were done by 0815 and moved over to the Hanover Township Townhall parking lot near the township memorial monument. There we met other Slattery members for the gun salute and ceremony. Al Bischoff’s grandson (fresh out of boot camp 3 days before), was there with his mother and father. Private Karl Bischoff was dressed up in perfect fitting “Dress Blues’ and joined the rest of the Slattery members as the ceremony began.
Then the ceremonies started, Jim Loizides acted as the MCL Chaplain and gave the prayer. The raising of the flag by the Scouts to half mask was next. Tom gave a short talk about the veterans and the defense of our nation. He then read a pome named “Ode To Remembrance.” Then we placed the three wreaths, one each from the veterans alliance, women’s auxiliary and our town officials next to the memorial. After that, a 21-gun salute and “Taps.” There was a closing prayer and we were done.
We drove over to the high school about 9am and started to get ready for the parade. Gunny was there with Dominic and the Jeep. A few more of the Slattery members joined us and we set up what each person would be doing for the parade. Some would be riding in the cars, some would be a Slattery honor guard along with Jim carrying the guide-on and with Karl next to him, leading the pack. Gunny and Dom would be in the Jeep.
We met a township Marine who might join us as a member named Joseph Mihalko III. He was with the Whippany Fire Department as he is currently one of their members and just home on leave. We had a nice chat with him before we kicked off. Joe is the grandson of Joseph Mihalko who was a member on the Veterans Alliance back when we created the memorial for the township. Pete Gallo and Tom Miller were also members and Tom was the person who designed it. We swapped a few stories about grandpa with Joe the Third.
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