Vietnam Veterans of America

Chapter 800 

Bergen County, NJ

Vietnam Veterans of America

Chapter 800 

Bergen County, NJ

​​​Ashley Chamberlain
Abigail Gillen
Jeremiah Miragliotta

What do Memorial Day and Veterans Day Mean to Me"
​by Jeremiah Miragliotta

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are national holidays celebrated by the country as a whole. Memorial Day is a day Americans use to remember all the lives lost in the military. Memorial Day to many is a weekend off of work, a weekend to party and have barbecues. To me this day is a time to remember and thank not only all my family m embers who have served in the military, but all members of the military for their sacrifices. These men and women sacrificed their lives to allow us to have the freedom we have in America. On Memorial Day my town holds a   parade filled with all different organizations, from the high school band, to our town’s local Boy Scout troop. I find this to be a very appropriate way to gather the town as a whole to remember such brave men and women. I believe on this day the whole country comes together in one way or another to show their gratitude and thanks for these fallen soldiers. Veteran’s Day is a day we use to honor all the men and women who have served in the military. To me, Veteran’s Day is a day i use to thank all of the people who served for our country. These men and women risked their lives for our country, nothing we do can repay them for their bravery. We use Veteran’s Day as a way to remember to thank those who fought for our country. These men and women left their homes and families not knowing if they’d ever return. These brave soldiers fight for people they don't and never will know. Every morning at public schools across the country we say our Pledge of Allegiance. This stating of the Pledge of Allegiance is our way of respecting the flag that our veterans fought for. As stated in the Pledge of Allegiance these soldiers fought for one nation, a united nation. A nation that is indivisible, one that cannot be divided. These soldiers fought for every person living in our country and they fought to give us the lives we have today. This day doesn’t only honor those who have served but will also honor those who will serve. These national holidays are some of the most important dates in America’s history, these dates allow us as a country to remember the people who gave us the country we have today.

Relative: Bruce Partyka

Attending Bergen Community College


What do Memorial Day and Veterans Day Mean to Me?

​                                                                                                                                                                        By Abigail Essen

Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, is a day on which we remember those

who fought and died during active military service. Memorial Day was traditionally observed on

May 30, but it is now officially observed on the last Monday in May. Memorial Day originally

honored those who served in the Civil War from 1861-1865. During the Civil War,

approximately 620,000 Americans died fighting for freedom from each other, potentially, dividing

our country apart. After the war ended, Americans started celebrating this day to remember all

those people who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for their people.

In 2017, Memorial Day has become a day enjoyed with barbeques and parties to

celebrate ALL the soldiers fighting for our country. I believe the best way to remember the men

and women who fought for our freedom and independence is to celebrate them with your family

and friends. Many cities and towns across the country remember and celebrate with big

parades. While many families visit cemeteries and memorials where their loved ones have been

laid to rest.

Similar to many people around the country, Memorial day to me is all about family. It’s a

day when my family gets together, to enjoy a good barbeque and appreciate each other and the

freedom that we take advantage of every day. Personally, my Mom’s Uncle Billy and Uncle

Howie are two people that my family appreciate every Memorial Day. They both served in our

military during the Vietnam war. While in Vietnam fighting for our continued freedom, Uncle Billy

was exposed to Agent Orange. Agent Orange is a defoliant chemical used by the US in the

Vietnam War. After returning from war, with Agent Orange in his system and unaware of the the

complications of that exposure. He and my Aunt Margie had a baby boy, Christopher.

Unfortunately, my mom’s little cousin, Christopher was born with Agent Orange in his system

and diagnosed with bladder cancer as a baby. Sadly, he suffered, and ultimately, died from

complications of the bladder cancer at the very young age of 7 years old. Uncle Billy blamed

himself and suffered from severe depression for many years. The trauma of losing their son

was too much for my Uncle Billy and Aunt Margie’s marriage to handle. They divorced a short

time after Christopher’s death.

Although, my Uncle Howie was fortunate enough to escape Agent Orange exposure or

other neurological issues. The physical demands his body endured during those years in

Vietnam still plague him to this day. He walks with a limp and has to limit the amount of time he

stays on his feet.

For me, Memorial Day reminds me, how grateful I am to all the young men and women

that are fighting for us to maintain our freedom and quality of life. To, not only, remember my

Mom’s Uncle Billy and Howie for their service to our country. But, to also, remember my mom’s

cousin Christopher who lost his life due to complications suffered by Uncle Billy during his time

fighting for my freedom

Winners of the 18th annual scholarship contest

What do Memorial Day and Veterans Day mean to me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                 by Ashley Chamberlain

Without veterans, our great country could not possibly be even half as great as it is today. I believe that veterans are by far most courageous, respectable, and hard-working citizens in our society. My gratitude for every single honorable soldier who has served or will serve for the freedom of every American citizen in past, present, and future generations, not only exists on Veterans and Memorial Day, but on every other day of my life as well. Memorial day and Veterans day mean remembering and being thankful for all of the soldiers who have served the United States of America, whether they survived or lost their lives in battle.

I believe that Memorial Day and Veterans day are two of the most important days in the history of the United States. Generations on generations of courage, incredible strength, and determination are righteously remembered over these two short days. Veterans Day is especially important to me because it is a day that was specifically established to honor brave veterans, like the best man I know, my Pop. It’s a day to honor other people’s grandfathers, mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles for serving our country.

These days for me, mean remembering and acknowledging that the freedoms and liberties I have today that I may occasionally take for granted, never would exist had courageous people not sacrificed their lives for the benefit of the entire country years ago. It means thanking the gentleman wearing his VVA cap for the service he has done, even though I know that one little Thank you or welcome home will never show just how grateful I am for what he has done for the life I live.

Veterans and Memorial day mean being thankful that others left their lives and families at home for people that they didn’t even know. Giving up your life and fighting for the country and the freedom of other people is the most unselfish thing that anyone could do and the majority of people would never be that selfless. Veterans are not only heroes, but they are humble and I am thankful every day for the life that the humble people who fought endlessly for our country have given me the ability to have.

Granddaughter of Victor DeCosmis
Attending The University of New Hampshire