Memorial Day Festivities in Bridgeton, New Jersey
What do poppies and donuts have in common? They both will be available on Memorial Day at the Broad Street Cemetery in Bridgeton, New Jersey. On Monday, May 28, 2018, between 12 Noon and 3:30 p.m., there will be a program to honor World War I veterans on this 100th anniversary of the war. The program is sponsored by the Broad Street Cemetery Association (BSCA) and the Friends of Old Broad Street Church (FOBSC). Others involved will be the American Legion Shoemaker Post 95, Mead-Woodward VFW Post 1795, Ebony Doughboys in WWI uniforms, Stanger’s WWI Band, Heritage Flag Memorial Ceremony Project, Century Bakery and local Scouts. This will be the 7th annual program on Memorial Day at the cemetery.
At 9 a.m., the Scouts will lower the flag at the Grand Army of the Republic plot near the corner of West Avenue and Broad Street. At noon, as is customary protocol for Memorial Day, the Scouts will raise the flag from half-staff to full-staff.
A picnic will begin at noon on the church lawn. People are asked to bring a lunch and drink. During this time, BSCA and FOBSC members will answer questions about the WWI exhibits and the 1792 church.
Century Bakery will provide donuts at the Doughboy Canteen. Donuts will be similar to those served in 1918. Canteens like this were provided by the Red Cross, YMCA, Salvation Army and Jewish Relief Fund in France. There will be coffee and water available. You will need a ticket to get a free donut. Poppies will be on sale by the American Legion.
The program inside the church begins at 12:45 p.m. There will be introductions by the BSCA and FOBSC and Mayor Albert Kelly will speak about “What the Flag Means to Me.” Stanger’s WWI Band, led by Lou Guinta, will come next. The program will continue with stories about WWI and some of the local veterans. These will be given by BSCA members and relatives of the veterans. One interesting aspect will be quotes written from Germany to relatives in America during the war.
There will be a Roll Call at 2:00 p.m. of the 57 WWI veterans buried in Broad Street Cemetery. Some names will be read by relatives. This will be followed by Eugene Hough of the Heritage Flag Memorial Ceremony Project. He will explain the unfurling of the 20×30 foot flag.
We will now move outside. Mr. Hough will ask for volunteers to unfurl the flag. The BSCA would like to see current veterans, veterans’ relatives, local people, organizations and especially children participate in the ceremony. We may do the unfurling more than once.
Closing ceremonies will begin at 3:00 p.m. The Honor Guard from the Mead-Woodward VFW Post 1795 will begin with a gun salute. Next, will be the firing of the Model 1848 Mt. Howitzer by Steve Osborn, a Vietnam veteran. The conclusion of the ceremony will be Taps by Lou Guinta.
(Please note: Restrooms will be available.)