Trenton Veterans of Foreign Local 12165 teamed up with Crystal Feliciano’s organization, Project M.O.V.E., to bring a Memorial Day week celebration to Trenton.
The partnership came after Feliciano and New Jersey State Commander of the V.F.W., Luddie H. Austin, talked about the importance of different Veteran Holidays and how to celebrate them in Trenton.
“We were talking about, you know, the importance of the different military holidays and understanding what they all stood for, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, like what does that all mean,” Feliciano said.
Austin explained that, unlike other Veteran holidays, Memorial Day is specific for Soldiers of the United States Armed Forces who were killed during combat.
“This is a memorial day. Most people look at Memorial Day as a holiday which it is a federal holiday, but is a day to honor our fallen,” Austin said. “Memorial Day is to honor the brave American men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat, those who couldn’t return home that who died on the battlefield or in route home.”
The ceremony will have various programs for Trenton residents to honor the veterans.
“(Austin has) been educating me on a lot on protocol in putting together programs like this,” Feliciano said. “We’re doing a moment of silence where we’re gonna have the tolling of the bell from the fire department. I’m really excited. This is gonna be really cool.”
The ceremony will include a history of Memorial Day brought by Austin, guest speakers Mayor W. Reed Gusciora, County Commissioner Samuel T. Frisby, and two Wreath presentations, one to Fallen soldiers, and the other to Golden Star Families.
“They are the families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat,” Austin said. “So what we will do is, present two wreaths, one will be on behalf of the Goldstar families, the other, on behalf of all fallen veterans.”
Participating in the ceremony will be the Trenton Police Department Honor Gard, Trenton Central High School’s J.R.O.T.C. program, Curtis O’Neal Sr performing the National Anthem, and Pastor David A Cox of Calvary Christian Fellowship Ministries will be saying the opening prayer. The event will start at 2:30 p.m. today (May 27th) and will be at the City Hall Atrium, 319 East State Street, Trenton, NJ.
“There’s a lot of things that we take for granted…people need to come to know the history, they need to know the meaning. Once they know the impact, they will understand the value of why we celebrate Memorial Day,” Feliciano said.