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Honor Our Heroes

Salute those who have sacrificed for our Country by spending the weekend at the nation's largest military parade, honoring Raritan’s own National World War II hero, Marine Sergeant John Basilone.

John Basilone, recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross, grew up in Raritan NJ. He joined the Army at 18 years of age and served in the Philippines in the 1930’s. After his three-year stint in the Army he returned to Raritan, where he decided he wanted to reenlist, but this time with the Marines.

Basilone fought in Guadalcanal, and for his heroics he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was sent back to the US on a Bond Tour and then decided to return to the front lines. John sailed to Iwo Jima and died in action the day he arrived. For his service that day, he was awarded the Navy Cross. John Basilone is the only Soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. Since 1981, the town of Raritan has held an annual parade to honor the contribution of this local hero.

2014 marks the 33rd annual John Basilone Memorial Parade Celebration. The event begins Saturday September 20th at 7pm with a concert at Raritan Valley Community College featuring the Summerswing Orchestra. For FREE tickets to the show, visit the theater or call (908)-725-3420 ($1 charge).

The celebration continues on Sunday with a church service at St. Ann's Church, followed by the John Basilone Memorial Parade and Ceremony. Be sure to catch the start of the parade at the Raritan train station (accessible by the NJTransit Raritan Valley line). Visitors can also explore the Basilone Museum at the Raritan Library.

For a complete schedule of events be sure to check out the Basilone Parade website.

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Supported in part through a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism. VisitNJ.org