The Linden High School NJROTC on Friday, Oct. 27, held a ceremony in the school’s gym to celebrate the Navy and Marine Corps birthdays and to honor local veterans.

The ceremony included a flag presentation to the guest of honor, Carl Periera of Linden, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 779, serving Union County. (See photo above.) The names of all the other veterans in attendance were read off along with their branches and years of services. The songs for each branch of the service were played, with guests standing as the song for their branch was played.

“On occasions like today, I am especially proud to be a citizen of this great country and the ideals and freedoms that it represents,” NJROTC Commander Boyd Decker said in his opening remarks. “These ideals and freedoms were won and defended by veterans – the men and woman who put our country before themselves.

“I also know that we all share tremendous pride in seeing these impressive NJROTC cadets in their uniforms, representing the best of our future. While only some of them will go on to serve our country in the armed services, all of them are amazing individuals that I know will go on to serve this country in some capacity.  … The veterans that we honor today share several fundamental qualities — courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty, and integrity – all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one’s self.  I and the other instructors are awed by what we see in these cadets, as they demonstrate these same qualities on a daily basis.”

A sheet cake marked the dates that the Navy and Marine Corps were founded: Oct. 13, 1775, and Nov. 10, 1775, respectively. The cake was cut by Regimental Executive Officer Bermuda Pierre, using her sword. The first piece was given to the guest of honor, followed by the oldest and youngest veterans present, and the oldest and youngest cadets.