The day’s ceremonies consist of a parade that ends at Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park, where floral wreaths are placed at the Memorial. The Governor Livingston Regional High School band plays the national anthem, and Echo Taps are sounded behind the Memorial. Speeches are then delivered at the Memorial to honor our servicemen and servicewomen.
Since its unveiling in 1987, the Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park experienced extensive wear and deterioration. The brick walkway leading to the flagpole and wall buckled and cracked. Much of the landscaping withered and died. The flagpole became discolored, the light fixtures rusted, and the benches mildewed. The huge Norway spruce that stood behind the Memorial was in dire condition, and needed to be replaced.
Click the thumbnails below to see how to Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park appeared in early 2015:
In 2015, the Memorial Park Renewal Committee was established, with a mission to restore the Memorial to pristine condition by Memorial Day — May 30, 2016.
Click the thumbnails below to see full-sized conceptual drawings of the restored Memorial:
The committee reached out to hundreds of citizens, businesses, and friends, who donated their time, money, and services to help with the project. $160,000 was raised through private donations and matching County grants.
Over the course of the next year, most of the Memorial was refurbished, rebuilt, or replaced. Walkways, retaining walls, and old monuments were refurbished or rebuilt. A new sign was built. The flagpole was repaired. Light fixtures, light poles, and benches were replaced. Trees, bushes, flowers, and a new lawn were planted. A beautiful Fallen Soldier statue was donated and installed at the entrance to the Memorial.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the committee, and the generous contributions of all of the donors and volunteers, the Memorial at the re-named Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park was restored to pristine condition and unveiled to the public on June 4, 2016.
Click the thumbnails below to see photos of the newly restored Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park.
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