Frank Gargiulo is North Bergen’s Veteran of the Year

Gargiulo is a U.S. Army veteran who reached the rank of Lieutenant

North Bergen Commissioner Frank Gargiulo has been named the township’s Veteran of the Year for 2022. He was selected and honored by the County of Hudson and received a citation from County Executive Thomas DeGise on Veterans Day, November 11, 2022.

“Lieutenant Frank Gargiulo [is] much admired for his strong religious and family values, for his dedication to bettering the lives of all in his role as public servant and veteran, and more importantly, for his generosity as philanthropist and role model, selflessly giving back to the communities that nurture him,” the citation reads.

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Gargiulo is a U.S. Army veteran. The citation goes on to state that this accolade is “bestowed only on those individuals who best exemplify the humanitarian and civic values that we as a nation hold in such high esteem.”

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the other commissioners, along with the entire Township of North Bergen, joined with the county in “proudly offering our gratitude and appreciation to Frank Gargiulo for his selfless service to his country and his community.”

That same day, the township held its traditional Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Recreation Center at 6300 Meadowview Avenue. Many local veterans and residents attended the annual event to honor those who served our country.

Commissioner and U.S. Navy veteran Julio Marenco served as emcee for the ceremony. Sacco and the other commissioners, along with County Commissioner Anthony Vainieri, provided remarks and reflections in support of veterans.

“We have this ceremony to honor you who served this country and who have given us our freedoms,” Sacco said at the event. “It wasn’t the media. It wasn’t all these other factions in our country who gave us our freedoms, it was the veterans. Veterans were on the front lines… In my family, my father served in World War II, and he served on the island of Saipan. My uncle served in Europe, and he’s probably looked down now today, proud I think of what this country has accomplished. God bless each and every one of you.”

Vainieri added that his grandfather served in World War I and his father in World War II. He said: “It’s because of the heroes like them that I didn’t have to go to World War III. And that we all pray and hope that our children will never see a World War III.”

At the ceremony, Gargiulo spoke about his service in the armed forces. He said that when he was in high school in the 1950s, it was expected that young men like him serve in the military.

“In my time, it was expected. But for me, it was an honor,” Gargiulo said. “I respect the veterans who put their time in. For me, it made me a better person.”

The Hudson County Sheriff Department provided the honor guard, with Pastor Paul Haviland of the Grove Reformed Church offering the invocation and benediction. Two members of the North Bergen High School band concluding the ceremony by playing Taps.

Among the many in attendance were Police Chief Peter Fasilis and members of the North Bergen Police Department, Township Administrator Janet Castro, Parking Authority Executive Director Robert Baselice, and numerous other officials and administrators.

November 11, 2022 marks the 104th anniversary of the end of fighting between the allied forces and Germany in World War I. The date was initially celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day before becoming known as Veterans Day.

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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