MANASQUAN – Manasquan officials, veterans and residents turned out for Memorial Day ceremonies Monday, honoring those who gave their lives for the nation, and paying an emotional, posthumous tribute to the veteran who had been selected to serve as the event’s grand marshal.
The proceeding, headed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars [VFW] Post 1838 of Manasquan, began at 10 a.m. with a parade from Manasquan High School on Broad Street, continuing down Main Street, and ending with a gathering in Squan Plaza for the memorial observance.
Community members lined the Main Street parade route in the summer-like weather, waving American flags and clapping for those who marched, including military units, veterans organizations and the Manasquan Police Department.
Also in the line of march were Manasquan Fire Companies 1 and 2, the Brielle Fire Department, Boy and Girl Scout troops.
A steady beat was provided by the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh and Drums of the Jersey Shore, as well as the Manasquan High School marching band.
Service and fraternal organizations also participated, including the Manasquan Woman’s Club, Elks Lodge 2534, Women of Irish Heritage, Chamber of Commerce, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.
In Squan Plaza, under an American flag at half-staff, the ceremony was led by VFW Post 1838 Commander and U.S. Marine John Murphy, backed by post members and honored guests.
Senior Vice Commander of Post 1838 and Army veteran Thomas Crowley followed the Pledge of Allegiance with a posthumous tribute to Col. Richard S. Finnerty, who had been scheduled to serve as the event’s grand marshal, before his death 12 days earlier, from cancer.