Memorial Day 2024 in Belleville: Ceremony planned, cemetery tribute

BELLEVILLE, NJ – Several community groups in Belleville recently teamed up for a solemn tribute to fallen soldiers as the 2024 Memorial Day holiday approaches.

Bright sunshine and brilliant blue skies made for an emotional scene Sunday afternoon above the flag-draped graves of thousands of American soldiers at the Glendale Cemetery military circle in Bloomfield.


Participants included the Belleville American Legion Post 105, Sons of the American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary and Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 366, hosted by the Belleville Historical Society.

According to a press release from the association:

“Former Belleville Mayor Mario Drozdz, whose brother, Stan, was killed in action in Vietnam, served as emcee. The Rev. Lawrence Fama, pastor of St. Thomas Church in Bloomfield, gave the opening prayer. Tears flowed as American Legion commander and Vietnam veteran Joe Cobianchi read the names of the young men who died in battle as the Belleville High School Army ROTC Color Guard stood at attention. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Peter Gasiewicz performed “Taps.” The national anthem was sung by Raphael Gavadia, administrator of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce.”

Earlier that morning, local scouts and volunteers placed thousands of flags on the graves of all the men resting there, the association noted.

For the past two years, the Belleville Historical Society has identified and cleaned the military footstones of the more than 200 soldiers who died in the battle and are buried in the laurel section of the cemetery. See related: Military monuments in Essex County restored on Memorial Day


The city will present a Memorial Day ceremony open to the public on Monday, May 27.

According to a municipal advisory, here are the details:

  • 11 a.m. – Dutch Reformed Church
  • Afternoon – Veterans Memorial Park

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