Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that a new park by 19th Street and Broadway will be dedicated to Lance Corporal Stanley J. Kopcinski, a U.S. Marine who was the first Bayonne resident killed in action in the Vietnam War. The dedication ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 18, at 1:00 p.m. in the park.
The new Kopcinski Park will be located on the Broadway side of the new 19 East apartment house, whose official address is 19 East 19th Street. Lance Corporal Kopcinski was a resident of 19th Street, as was his friend, Joseph Kochanski, who suggested naming the park after his best friend. Mr. Kochanski organized the construction of a Kopcinski memorial, and has arranged many of the details of the park dedication ceremony.
Lance Corporal Stanley J. Kopcinski was born on August 20, 1946. He graduated from Samuel A. Roberson Elementary School and Bayonne Technical High School. (Roberson School was demolished to make way for a housing development in 1996. Bayonne Tech merged into Bayonne High School.) Stanley Kopcinski joined the United States Marine Corps in 1964. He was sent to take part in the Vietnam War. On May 14, 1966, at the age of 19, he was killed in action by a command-detonated mine near Da Nang in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. Mr. Kochanski said, “It is fitting that a park named for a hometown boy who gave his life for his country is located in the neighborhood where he grew up.”
Following Lance Corporal Kopcinski’s passing, the Bayonne Detachment of the Marine Corps League created an award in his honor. The Lance Corporal Kopcinski Award has been presented to numerous veterans and community leaders for the past fifty years.
Mayor Davis said, “When the construction of 19 East was planned, a portion of the property facing Broadway was set aside to become a park. We thank the developer, the Ingerman Companies, for their cooperation.” Mayor Davis continued, “Kopcinski Park is expected to host community events and to serve as a focal point of the Broadway commercial district. With this park, we are proud to honor Stanley Kopcinski and all veterans from Bayonne.”