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Bayonne street to be renamed for Vietnam vet

Jack Graham (center) was honored at the 2018 Field of Heroes annual ceremony at Bayonne High School. Photo via Mayor James Davis's Facebook
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Jack Graham (center) was honored at the 2018 Field of Heroes annual ceremony at Bayonne High School. Photo via Mayor James Davis's Facebook

Bayonne’s West 52nd Street between Broadway and Avenue C will now be known as Jack Graham Way.

The city council voted to rename the street to honor Graham, a lifelong Bayonne resident and Vietnam veteran, at its Sept. 22 meeting. Graham died at age 76 on July 6 of this year.

Third Ward Councilman Gary LaPelusa read the resolution into the record, first noting his personal relationship with Graham.

“I happen to know Jack Graham, his wife, and his sister in law,” LaPelusa said. “They had come to me about this. He’s already in the Bayonne High School Field of Heroes.” Graham was honored by the Bayonne Board of Education at its annual Field of Heroes ceremony in 2018. LaPelusa said the honor is “very well deserved.”

‘A model American’

Graham lived on West 52nd for nearly his entire 76 years. Born in Bayonne, he graduated from Bayonne High School in 1965 and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 through 1969. He served in Vietnam with the 300th Tactical Fire Squadron and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism during a Viet Cong attack on Da Nang Air Base.

Upon his return, Graham led a “long and fruitful life” in Bayonne. He was a warehouseman for McKesson Chemical in Woodbridge prior to retirement. He was also a devoted volunteer with the Bayonne Youth Soccer Association, serving the recreation and travel leagues. Additionally, he was an active member of the American Legion Post 456, Stewartsville.

“In Bayonne, upon his return from military service, he gave generously of his time as a member of the American Legion and as president and a coach of the Bayonne Youth Soccer Association, while raising his children Justin and Devin with his wife Florence,” the resolution states.

Graham is survived by his wife, sons, and his grandchildren, Jacklynn, Justin, Joviana and Cadence.

“Jack Graham passed away on July 6, 2021, and the city of Bayonne would be remiss if it did not take the time to recognize this wonderful individual for his outstanding military service to our country and the impact that he had on the city of Bayonne through his volunteerism,” the resolution states. “Bayonne is a better place because of Jack Graham.”

After reading the resolution, LaPelusa added, “He really was a model American, and he believed in service above self.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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