North Bergen remembers our fallen heroes this Memorial Day


Be nice if you simply said as you pass by thank you for your service because those in uniform are keeping us free.

“They called my name out and I went up there to receive a paper,” says Navy veteran Walter McKenna on being honored for his service.  “I almost come to tears because I felt so humbled.”

Every year they remember those who served.

“There’s a lot of sadness in this for those who lost loved ones, however — that we honor our veterans is very important,” says Mayor Nicholas Sacco.

She wanted to be there because of her family roots in the Navy and Airforce and local kids she knows joining the military.

“I know a lot of people who are going in the Army, so… we don’t know when he’s going, 
so we don’t know if he’ll return or not,” Cliffside Park resident Caitlin Piccione says.

As a Marine on Guam his unit participated with Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

“The good Lord spared me, it’s good to be alive — I pray to him everyday,” says Marine Corp. Veteran Rudy Klima.

Military runs in her blood and she’s also district president of the Hudson County VFW Auxiliary.

“So this has been very important to me since I was a very little girl,” says Clare E. Prevot of Secaucus.  “My father was in the Navy.  My uncle’s Army, Navy, Airforce, so we kinda covered it all.”

They put their lives on the line for our rights and freedom.

“And I feel that it’s important to always come every year (and) little things we can do just to thank them, they did so much for us,” says Angelica Matta of North Bergen.

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Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis


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