Retro Rumson Eighth Graders’ Memorial Day

Rumson Boy Scouts at Memorial Day service circa early 1970s
Photo/George Day

Monday marked the first Memorial Day of the virtual kind. The day, usually kicked off by parades in Rumson and Fair Haven and solemn services at Victory and Memorial parks, respectively, brings people in communities together. Groups, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, honoring those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country, is the usual visual. Not Monday.

Those groups always include a cluster of scouts, flag-bearing, saluting, honoring those they never knew, yet grew up knowing they must be revered. It also always includes a gaggle of school kids offering some contribution to the service and tasked with listening and learning about the day and those it honors.

And there are some moments of song and speeches, orchestrated by the schools’ leaders. In Fair Haven, the reading of a chosen essay penned by an eighth grader is always read. This year it was John Waltz, reading virtually for the first time in Memorial Day history in the borough.

It was a first, yes. As school kids always represent in some way at the service. An they’re usually shoulder-to-shoulder. The image: United they stand. The community and each of its sectors.

Back in 1974, a usual group assembled at Victory Park in Rumson. It was a usual Memorial Day gathering. Rumsonite George Day got a snapshot of the era and its kids. A bunch of Forrestdale eighth graders stood, listened and honored. It’s not clear whether or not a speech was read by one. What’s clear, though, is that these guys, together then, were about to enter high school at RFH that September.

It’s a picture of Memorial Day gathering of the era with some very familiar faces and a giant megaphone. What were they listening to? Who are these guys? Can you caption this?

Thanks, once again, to the incredible George Day for this look back in Rumson time!

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management