Happy Memorial Day!
This certainly was not the way we imagined celebrating Memorial Day or our Tricentennial. It seems like only a few short months ago we were making elaborate plans for this very special day, to remember our fallen, honor our service heroes, and commemorate New Providence’s 300th Anniversary. Who could have ever imagined all that has befallen us with this global pandemic. These unprecedented times have brought out strength and courage within us that we never knew we had, and a resilience to carry on no matter what comes our way. Our history, our heritage, and our values have not changed despite these challenges before us. It has brought us closer, made us stronger, wiser, and even more appreciative of our way of life, our freedom, all that we have fought for over the centuries, and our deep rooted commitment to preserve it. This Memorial Day will be a memorable one. Let us honor all those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.
New Providence has a very long history of service, and has always been responsive to our country’s and our community’s needs. Forty-eight brave souls from New Providence enrolled in General Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War. All are buried at our New Providence Presbyterian Church Cemetery and are also honored on a plaque in the back of the church. We still retain and preserve our original “Liberty Pole” from the Revolutionary War, which symbolized our commitment to the Patriots in our fight for freedom and independence. It stands proudly in front of our Salt Box Museum reminding us every day that freedom is not free, and liberty is worth fighting for and preserving. Many honorable men and women gave their lives for this freedom, for our liberty, so that we, and our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations can live freely with every opportunity and possibility available to pursue.
During the War of 1812, New Jersey mobilized five thousand state militia commanded by Major General Benjamin Ludlow of New Providence. He is also buried at our Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Major General Ludlow’s grandson George Ludlow was Governor of New Jersey from 1881-1884.
A proportional number of men and women from New Providence responded to our country’s call for service and gave the ultimate sacrifice for the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and most recently, LCpl Christopher B Cosgrove III (whose tree honorable stands proudly in our Veteran’s Park) was killed in action in Iraq. We honor them, and we thank all of them, and their families for their sacrifices, their bravery, their courage, and for their unwavering patriotism to protect our freedoms.
Today, we face a new enemy, an invisible one, but one that is just as deadly. Every citizen is fighting this war. We have had to make sacrifices, hard choices, and difficult adjustments. Our afflicted have been courageously battling this virus, and the families of our lost have been bravely soldiering on with unspeakable pain and loss. Today we honor and remember all of our fallen and their families. Our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers are with them all. We thank our healthcare workers, our first responders, our essential workers, and all of our dedicated and selfless volunteers and contributors, without whom this war would be lost.
Our community has held strong during this crisis, helping each other, and supporting each other like never before. We will get through this together as we have always done. Our hard fought-for freedoms will be restored, and our liberties preserved for future generations. Normalcy will return. Be well. Stay Safe. And Keep Strong. Pioneer Strong!
Happy Memorial Day!
God Bless New Providence. God Bless New Jersey. God Bless the United States of America.
~ Mayor Al Morgan