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Killed Kinnelon Soldier to be Honored at Boro's Memorial Day Parade

Kinnelon will host parade on Memorial Day and honor those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan on Veterans Day.

Kinnelon Councilman Dan O'Dougherty announced preliminary plans at Thursday evening's council meeting for this year's festivities for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

"On Memorial Day this year, we are going to have the 'Field of Freedom,' which is going to be flags that are going to be posted with an eight-foot post and a five-foot flag in a roll like they do at Arlington Cemetery," he said.

O'Dougherty said that the "Field of Freedom" will take place in front of the municipal building. As part of the program, residents have the opportunity to purchase a full-sized flag for $35 to honor a veteran in memoriam. The flags will be placed on the circle in front of the municipal building.

Proceeds from the "Field of Freedom" fundraiser will support two veterans' organizations-Reserve Aid and Vet Dogs.

Plans for a Memorial Day parade were also unveiled.

"Also this year, we're looking to do a Memorial Day parade back in Kinnelon," O'Dougherty said. "After Kiel Avenue has been completed and all the projects we did in lowering that hill and everything else we did on Kiel Avenue, we're looking to, this year, do the Field of Freedom and the parade on Memorial Day. Also, we're going to be remembering Jonathan Batista, who lost his life last year.

Batista, of Kinnelon, was killed in Afghanistan by enemy fire. A funeral was held for him at Our Lady of the Magnificat Church after residents from the borough and surrounding communities lined Kinnelon Road to welcome his body home.

"So this Memorial Day is kind of special," O'Dougherty said.

O'Dougherty also said that on Veterans Day, Kinnelon will be honoring servicemen and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Those young people who have gone [over] from Kinnelon, [we want] to give them some recognition as volunteers that have volunteered their service and are doing the right thing," he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated admission would be charged for "Field of Freedom."

Larry Huyler February 25, 2013 at 06:16 AM
Max, I'm with you on this one. The article does not say that the admission cost is a donation. I do think the town needs to inform the public what the name of this so-called organization is so we can look at their record of how much of any donation goes to the people running the organization and how much is going to veterans and in what form or way.
Bulls on Parade February 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Excuse me, but I donate to charities that I WANT to, one being Wounded Warrior, I don't want to be forced to pay into a nameless charity to "offset" the town's cost for a program that they decided to do without input from the public.Once again this proves that this council spends money recklessly, if you don't have the money saved, don't do the program, $30 is a lot to pay for a family attending a parade! I pay hefty taxes to live in this town, why would I want to pay more of my money to attend a Memorial Day Parade? There are very few Kinnelon citizens in attendance anyway! Most are parents from scouts that choose to participate in the parade. Wouldn't you want to find ways to encourage citizens to attend instead of charging people to stand in the "inner circle" for the event-which will be the administration and "friends" of the council anyway and probably won't have to pay the fee to begin with! Nice way to pay respect to our heroes and fleece the taxpayers!
Flo Gallo February 25, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Really bad idea..key word in this article is "preliminary"...if there is enough outrage over this $30.00 fee to each resident perhaps it will never happen...parade is fine but asking for a donation...not!
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan February 25, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Hi everyone-the writer mistakenly had written that admission would be charged for "Field of Freedom." This is not the case. The $35 is an optional donation for a flag to be placed in front of the municipal building. I have since updated and corrected the article. We apologize for the error.
L. February 26, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Your "updated" article is completely different from the first one. The inaccurate facts and bad info left a bad impression of the Kinnelon Council, glad to see this update, it makes a lot more sense.

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