Glassboro Celebrates Fallen Heroes in Annual Memorial Day Parade

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GLASSBORO, N.J. -

For more than a century, Glassboro residents have brought out their best red, white, and blue outfits for the town's annual Memorial Day Parade.

Despite some rain and clouds in the sky, this year was no different.

“I say it's getting better. More and more people are out today," said Virginia Johnson, of Glassboro. "We enjoy it. It’s something that we always did." 

Johnson has attended the parade nearly every year going back to when she was a little girl marching in the parade.

Now at 93 years old, the mother of 11 celebrates today for a different reason than when she was young. She has three sons that fought in Vietnam and one, Richard, who lost his life 50 years ago in battle.

“I grew up here and they’re all close friends [and] school mates. We’ve seen them go off to war and some of them didn’t come back," said Johnson. "When you see your own son go over and you go through that [it's hard] ... but I’m thankful the other two came home." 

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In World War II, James Edward Redmond died on the USS Franklin. His 91-year-old brother, Edward James — who fought along side him in the war — watches the parade with his children each year.

The parade honors fallen heroes like Redmond and Johnson who grew up right in this very town.

“It’s one of the most touching things in the world," said Major Ryan Bailey, New Jersey National Guard. "It feels like you’re connecting with your roots and your DNA and honoring the fallen heroes of previous generations." 

With people lining both sides of the street, the parade passes right where the Boulevard meets downtown Glassboro at the new Veteran’s Memorial Plaza.

“It can’t be put into words how touching it is for me to see the outpouring of support from the community for the present military, for the people serving overseas, and for our fallen heroes that we see today," said Maj. Bailey.

With each year adding more family fun activities, the people of Glassboro can only wait to see what exciting events are in store for next year's Memorial Day weekend.

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