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Spring Leaf Pickup

Spring Leaf Pickup

The Borough will conduct the Spring Leaf pickup end of April.

If you have any questions you may contact the Department of Public Works at 973-226-3400.

Calling All Veterans

Register with the Mayor for upcoming Veteran's events by emailing mayor@essexfellsboro.com. Provide your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, branch and years of service, and rank.

Garbage and Recycling

Garbage and Recycling
Information

Garbage disposal is the responsibility of the resident and they must contract with a private waste hauler for pickup. Residents can bring their recycling to the Recycling Center. Please check the link below for information.

Clean-Up

Prepare Before
Clean-up & Repair

When working on home and/or business repair be sure to both protect yourself when cleaning mold and beware of asbestos. Get further info via the flyer provided below.

Dumpster and POD Permits Required

Dumpster and POD
Permits Required

Essex County Division of Senior Services

Essex County Division
of Senior Services

This Division offers a wide range of services to Essex County Senior Citizens, such as adult day care centers and basic transportation services.

For more information, please call the Division of Senior Services at...
(973) 395-8375

NJ Top Towns

Essex Fells is One
of NJ's "Top Towns"

Essex Fells ranked favorably in New Jersey Monthly's annual list of the top towns in the state. Click the link below to see the full listing.

Buy a Paver and Support Essex Fells

Buy a Brick
Support Our Youth

The Essex Fells Recreation Foundation invites you to participate in the Buy a Brick Program!

When you purchase a personalized brick that will line the entrance to the new Fieldhouse at the Recreation complex, you are supporting the development of the youth in our community.

Car Theft Advisory

Residents Urged to Lock Car Doors After Recent Break-Ins

The Essex Fells Police Department would like to remind residents to always lock their car doors to recent car burglaries and vehicle thefts in the area. The vehicles that were entered were left unlocked.


Residents are also reminded to remove any valuable items inside their vehicles such as GPS units, iPods and other electronic devices. As always please call us to report any suspicious activity.

Essex Co. Environmental Center Fall 2014 Public Programs

The Essex County Environmental Center is situated in a wooded wetland habitat with access to the Passaic River which makes for an interesting and affordable site to book a naturalist-led field trip for school groups, scouts, and community groups. Book our state-of-the-art facility and nature setting for an educational birthday party, community event, or a corporate business outing. Take advantage of this County facility, stay local and explore the nature of Essex in your own “backyard!”

The center is located at 621-B Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland in Essex County West Essex Park and is a facility of the Essex County Park System. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Essex County West Essex Park is open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.

Pre-registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. Click below for upcoming events.

For more information, please call 973-228-8776.

New PSE&G Outage Map Helps Customers Navigate Stormy Weather

With summer storm season in full swing, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) has made it easier for customers to track the status of power outages using its online Outage Map.  PSE&G recently adopted new technology to enhance the mobile-friendly map, providing more detailed information about outages and when power will be restored. When the lights go out, customers can now log on to see:

-      The location of the outage at the neighborhood level.

-      The number of customers affected by the outage.

-      When the outage was reported, and the time PSE&G expects service to be restored.

-      The cause of the outage, if available, such as equipment failure or animal contact.

-      During storms, the status of the job in the restoration process — whether crews are assessing the outage, making repairs or removing a tree.

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Essex County Parks Photography Contest

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. is inviting the public to participate in the Annual Essex County Parks Photography Contest. Photographic entries must highlight a visit to the historic Essex County Parks System. The free contest is open to the public and the deadline to submit entries is Wednesday, September 17th.

The photographs will be on display at the Essex County Environmental Center from Saturday, October 4th through Friday, October 31st. For contest rules and regulations, please contact the Environmental Center at 973-228-8776.

Summer 2014 Public Programs

Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive and The Board of Chosen Freeholders present Essex County Environmental Center Summer 2014 Public Programs. Click below for upcoming events in your area.

The Essex County Environmental Center is located at 621-B Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland in Essex County West Essex Park and is a facility of the Essex County Park System. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Essex County West Essex Park is open to the public every day from dawn until dusk. Pre-registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted. For more information, please call 973-228-8776.

2014 Essex County SummerMusic Concert Series

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites the public to attend the 2014 Essex County Free SummerMusic Concert Series. The free Concert Series brings a diverse group of musicians and entertainers to perform at locations throughout the historic Essex County Park System and provides residents with an evening leisure activity to enjoy the parks. This year’s series features two concert and fireworks spectaculars, Friday night concerts in Brookdale Park and eight cultural festivals.

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State of the Borough Address – 2014

Good evening friends and welcome to the 2014 Reorganizational Meeting for the Borough of Essex Fells.  I would like to extend a very special, warm, and heartfelt welcome to our visitors, the Honorable Jerome St. John, Judge in the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division (and equally prestigious, former Mayor of Essex Fells), the Honorable Mayor of West Caldwell, Joseph Tempesta, and former Essex Fells Council President and Councilman Thomas St. John.

It is refreshing, and indeed very welcome, that my comments at this year’s State of the Borough address will not be discussing the wrath of Mother Nature, or the need to thank FEMA, the State and County officials and organizations, PSE&G, various utility companies from far across this great and generous land of ours, and many, many others, for the natural disasters that did befall Essex Fells in 2011 and 2012 were, thankfully, absent in 2013.

Rather, the events and activities in Essex Fells, and of the Borough Council, were more along the description of “business as usual.”  And although the “Enchanted Forest” was a little less, “forested” due to the storms, it remained, always “enchanted.”  In 2013, our town once again enjoyed the very special Currier and Ives moment of skating and the skating races at the Pond thanks to the wonderful work of Tom Torter and the Skating Pond Committee, and this year, thanks to the spearheading efforts of Ron Ellis, our residents can now truly enjoy the Pond year round with the completion of the peaceful path encircling the Pond.  We enjoyed the annual and time-honored fishing derby put on by the Essex Fells Fire Department.  The Essex Fells Garden Club, under the leadership of Doreen Ward, worked year round to keeping our town the bucolic Borough that she is, held its Annual Plant Sale in the Spring and the Christmas Eve Sing several weeks ago, and very generously donated very substantial funds to help restore the Glen behind the Essex Fells School which had been severely damaged.  We came together, once again, on Memorial Day to remember and pay tribute to our town’s five fallen heroes and the Chief John Kauffman and Essex Fells Fire Department returned to hosting its traditional Annual Memorial Day Picnic immediately after the Memorial Day Parade.   The Essex Fells School, that magnificent “stone set in a silver sea,” was busy with not only educating our children, but also creating very special Essex Fells memories for the kids for years to come.  I will never forget that on Veterans Day this year, the Sixth Grade class not only attended our ceremony at Borough Hall at 8:30 in the morning, but also invited our town’s veterans to join them in the media center to discuss their service to our country.  It was truly a very special moment, and one that made us all so proud of our veterans and of our children.  And as always, with each season, Essex Fells showed us her beauty, her grace, and her elegance.

And similarly described as “business as usual,” during 2013, your Borough Council, as always, was very diligent and busy in its charge of being fiscally and responsibly improving Essex Fells’ services and programs, while honoring the past and preserving the unique character of our town.  2013 presented many traditional and some unique challenges, but this governing body admirably met those challenges through hard work, creative thinking, and teamwork.  I am proud of the accomplishments of this Council and all of them are to be commended. 

The credit for our accomplishments also goes to the amazing efforts of our town’s administration – specifically our Borough Administrator, Francine Paserchia, Administrative Assistant, Brittany Thunel, and their staff, our assigned CFO Christopher Battaglia of Battaglia Associates, Essex Fells Water Utility Superintendent Jack Pohlman and the men of our water utility, Essex Fells Police Chief Vincent Kulik, Lieutenant Donald Allen, and the men and woman of the Essex Fells Police Department, Department of Public Works Superintendent Roger Kerr and the men of the DPW, Essex Fells Recreation Director Rob Lombardy, Essex Fells Fire Chief John Kauffman and my fellow Essex Fells Firefighters, and Borough Council Counsel, Martin Murphy.  Since I took the oath of this office in 2002, I have closely worked with all of you, some on a weekly basis, and a few of you on a daily basis.  I want to take this opportunity to publically thank you all for all that you do for Essex Fells and her residents – for your commitment to your professions; for your commitment to our residents.  I not only enjoy every moment of working with you for the people of Essex Fells, but also, and very honestly and sincerely, say that I respect and admire you all for your dedication.  Thank you.

And of course, Essex Fells would not be Essex Fells without her resident volunteers  - those who give their time and talents to making the Borough such a special and wonderful place to live and raise a family.  There are so many of you; please know that we all appreciate your efforts and time in giving back to the community you love. Thank you all.

Shortly, you will be hearing from the Council Chairpersons of the various Borough’s Committees with specific details of all the highlights and achievements for 2013; and the successes are many, including:

·      Successfully re-negotiating water contracts with certain customer towns and with New Jersey American Water Company;
·      Concluding our Teamsters Union contract negotiations;
·      Improving relations, communications, and partnering with PSE&G regarding the maintenance of utilities in Essex Fells in storms;
·      Encouraging residents to use our webpage – www.essexfellsboro.com - and sign up for NIXLE so that they can get the needed information quickly on their cell phones in times of emergency;
·      Maintaining and repairing the Borough’s physical plants and the Water Utility’s pumps and wells and water system;
·      Installing new Federally regulated street signs;
·      Hiring and welcoming new police personnel (Officer Joseph Ficci who officially joined us in 2012, but who graduated from the Police Academy in 2013) and other non-police personnel (assigned CFO Christopher Battaglia);
·      Exploring and creating ways to reduce the tax burdens through the continued use of shared services with other municipalities;
·      Installing new signs at the Recycling area;
·      Pursing New Jersey Department of Transportation grants to maintain safe and secure roadways;
·      And passing of comprehensive, through, and well-conceived ordinances; for example ordinances dealing with the installation and use of generators and the ability to conduct professional filming for movies, television, or commercials in town.

I do believe that, periodically, any State of the Borough Address needs to briefly touch upon where we have been, what has been accomplished, and what are some of the upcoming challenges and issues to be addressed.  Over the last 12 years as your Mayor, my plan for the Borough of Essex Fells has been extremely consistent and focused on maintaining and improving the Borough services, while at the same time, meeting the fiduciary obligations to the taxpayers by controlling costs and exploring every feasible option to keep taxes low, all in a balanced and responsible manner to preserve our unique small town character.  Each member of the 12 governing bodies with whom I have had the absolute honor and privilege to work with has joined me in this charge, for each understands that we are only bailees of this precious jewel called Essex Fells. 

Over the course of the last 12 years, we have had great success in every aspect of Borough life, some of which are:

Police and Public Safety
·      Established close coordination with our Police, Fire, Water, DPW and Administration for the safety and welfare of all our residents following Hurricane Sandy and the October Storm of 2011, including dealing with our representatives from the County, State and Federal agencies all for the benefit of Essex Fells;
·      Reviewed policies, procedures, and other considerations in order to keep our Police Department independent, in addition to providing the department with the best equipment necessary;
·      Always being committed to proper education and training for Police personnel for not only the safety of the residents of Essex Fells, but also for the officers themselves;
·      Remained committed to the “two car minimum” for patrols in town;
·      Worked with the EFPD to establish lock-down and evacuation drills at our elementary school, the first for any such elementary school in the area;
·      Worked closely with the Elementary School Administration and Board of Education to install cameras and establish proper procedures to increase student and faculty safety;
·      Increased the role and involvement of our Emergency Management operations through coordination and communication with the EFPD;
·      Encouraged the welcomed diversification of our police department personnel;
·      Updated the police fleet and acquired new means of speed enforcement (our Harley Davidson); and,
·      Fostered a close and trusting working relationship with all of the members of the Essex Fells Police Department.

Department of Recreation
·      Oversaw the acquisition, renovations, planning, design, and improvements to Essex Fells Fields, including working closely with the County for the financing and planning for the Field House; and,
·      Encouraged the expansion of recreational activities and services offered to all residents.

Essex Fells Water Utility
·      Negotiated the successful renewals of the water utility contracts with our surrounding customer towns;
·      Ensured that the necessary maintenance and upgrades are made to our water utility system; and,
·      Negotiated with our outside water purveyor to build and establish a separate pump station to allow for additional water as needed in order to prevent utility imposed water restrictions. 

Finance and Personnel
·      Planned for and completed - within budget - the renovations to Borough Hall and the other municipal buildings;
·      Established the continued and periodic review of the Borough’s departmental operations and personnel evaluations and analysis;
·      Entered into shared service agreements with other municipalities in order to keep taxes low (e.g., joint dispatch, municipal court, sub-code officials, tax collectors, tax assessor, deputy registrars, health services, animal control officer, recreational programs and services), and created new cost saving opportunities through careful and creative outsourcing (CFO);
·      Successfully handled a tax revaluation and tax reassessments through frank and honest communications with Borough residents; and,
·      Always remain open to exploring additional and creative ways to keep taxes low, while still maintaining the high level of municipal services that Essex Fells residents deserve.

Public Affairs
·      Enlarged the participation of our residents to properly remember the supreme sacrifice of our five fallen sons on Memorial Day and to thank and acknowledge our town’s veterans on Veterans Day;
·      Created the Essex Fells Veterans Committee;
·      Continue to host “Seniors Coffee with the Mayor” meetings and created the Senior Resident Advisory Committee;
·      Created the Essex Fells Historical Society  - which will be having its first 2014 meeting next month – all are invited – there will be a reading assignment and quiz! Please check the website for details;
·      For ten years, the Borough wrote and distributed the Essex Fells newsletter; then designed, implemented and now regularly updates the Essex Fells webpage (recently recognized as one of the best municipal webpages in the State);
·      Proactively passed one of the most strict ordinances in the State regarding cell tower restrictions in a municipality;
·      Successfully negotiated and found the proper solution to the town’s Mount Laurel litigation; and,
·      Communicated effectively with county, state and federal elected officials for the betterment of Essex Fells. 

Department of Public Works
·      Worked closely with the DPW in order to ensure that all of the town’s roads, sewers, and public lands, including the new Essex Fells fields, are properly cared for;
·      Ensuring the continued improvements to roads and water drainage system via NJ DOT grants;
·      Supported and coordinated with DPW during Hurricane Sandy and the October Storm of 2011; and,
·      Established close working relationships with County, State, and Federal elected officials and with PSE&G regarding storm procedures.

Those are just a few of the accomplishments that we have made since 2002.  Yet, as we are reminded at the end of Coppola’s brilliant film, “Patton,” “Sic transit gloria mundi” (“All glory is fleeting”).

Today and going forward, we on the governing body face many tough challenges in 2014 and beyond, some of which are:

1.         Maintaining Essex Fells’ Unique Character - While at last year’s Fishing Derby at the Pond, I was approached by someone who told me that she grew up in Essex Fells and moved away over 40 years ago.  She then stated that she wanted me to know that the town is as beautiful as she remembered it, that the traditions like the Fishing Derby warmed her heart, and that the residents she met that day were as nice as the residents she and her family knew so long ago.  She was so happy to see that all that is wonderful about Essex Fells has not changed.  For me as Mayor, that is the nicest compliment anyone can ever pay our town.   My challenge, and my charge – our challenge, our charge – is simply that – to deal with the necessary, good, or even thrust upon, changes that have to occur in our little Borough, but to always deal with them honestly, with the right perspective, and in such a way as to have the least impact on the very special “feel” that makes Essex Fells so “Essex Fells.”  I often say that Essex Fells is “the town that time forgot,” because of its unique, and even romantic, character of small town America where neighbor knows neighbor and where we really do all care for one another. 

2.         Emergency Management – Hurricane Sandy and the October Storm of 2011 taught us all the importance of proper emergency management planning, coordination, and communication.  We have learned much about all three, and going forward we will continue to learn more and implement procedures to be even better prepared when the next disaster strikes.  The Borough has put in place the Nixle system, which is surpassing the Reverse 911 system in terms of effectiveness and immediacy, and all residents are encouraged to enroll their cellphone numbers on the Nixle system (information can be found on our webpage).  By doing so, any subscriber can get immediate texts to their cellphones from me, as Mayor or Emergency Management Coordinator, or our Chief of Police in a fast and very efficient way.  Further, we have requested grants and assistance through FEMA through their programs for costs and expenses that the Borough suffered in the past two years, in addition to purchasing generators for our Municipal Hall and Service Building.  This is certainly a work in progress, but with the team in place of our Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works, Water, Administration and Mayor/Emergency Management Coordinator, and with our relationships with the County, State, and Federal authorities, along with PSE&G, we are constantly improving and fine-tuning our response to such disasters.

3.         Creating or Updating New Borough Ordinances - Given the power outages recently suffered, many residents purchased or are considering purchasing full home generators.  We wanted to make sure that the generators are properly located and connected in a safe manner; therefore, working with our code official and engineer, the Borough crafted and passed an ordinance regarding the safe installation and location of home generators.  Other ordinances that need to be created or updated include those affecting dish communication devices, solar panel placements, outdoor lighting, and fencing regulations.

4.         Controlling proper housing structure size on Borough lots – Thanks to the foresight of past Mayors, Councils, Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment, Essex Fells was the leader in establishing the “Floor to Area” standard for construction of homes.  This has been instrumental in allowing the Borough’s homes to be by in large proportional to the properties.  Going forward and working with the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Essex Fells needs to discuss what restrictions it should consider on the size of homes that could be constructed on very large properties which, although meet the Borough’s FAR, could be so large as to be out of character with the town’s atmosphere and nature;

5.         Historic Home Preservation – Again, with working side by side with the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Historical Committee, and interested in-town professional architects, the governing body needs to re-new its efforts to create an Architectural Advisory Review Board to either try to prevent the loss of the unique, historic homes that have such an important place in our town’s history and landscape, or exert motivation or guidance on the owners to maintain as much of the historic structure as possible;

6.           Tree and Trotter Tract Preservation – Three factors have had a terrible impact on the beautiful trees that have graced our town: time (meaning that most large tall trees live for about 80 to 100 years, and given the developmental history of our Borough, many of our great trees have reached the end of their lifespan), the October Storm of 2011, and Hurricane Sandy.  The Council needs to take aggressive measures to put into place a firm plan on how to re-forest, care, and maintain our Borough properties with the trees that we either have already lost or will lose in the coming years.  I have already been in contact with a forest consultant to discuss how best to replant and maintain our borough properties, including the 80 acre Trotter Tract, and we will be working with other great organizations in town, including the Essex Fells Garden Club, Friends of the Trotter Tract, the Essex Fells Conservancy, and interested residents to ensure that our town remains the bucolic, special, heavily forested town it has been for many generations to come.  

I have no doubt that we on the governing body will meet these challenges and successfully over come them, as long as we are true to three basic principles:
1.              Focus on and act only to accomplish our charge: to maintain and improve the Borough services, while at the same time, meeting the fiduciary obligations to the Essex Fells taxpayers by controlling costs, all in a balanced and responsible manner to preserve our unique small town character;
2.              Remember that we are only trustees of this ever so special place; that we must only and always act for the betterment of the current and future residents of Essex Fells; that our beloved 1.3 square miles is so special that its protection unquestionably takes priority over personal interests; and,
3.              That we need to prepare “the next generation” to accept the torch of Borough governance and responsibility; that residents with “skin in the game” (e.g., those who will be living here for the next 30, 40 years who may have young children in school or are involved with the many wonderful Essex Fells clubs, committees or foundations) consider what their contributions will be to our town and we need to actively and vigorously encourage and welcome their involvement in bringing their ideas and visions to bear on the future of Essex Fells.  Let not the current state of politics in New Jersey dissuade any one of the next generation from wanting to become involved in the care of our beloved Borough; Let them be motivated and called by the virtues of public service.    For the future of our beloved Essex Fells will be in their hands, as it was placed in ours years ago.

That said, come, let us to the task.  The business of the Borough awaits.

Twelve years ago (on January 2, 2002) I was sworn in as Mayor of the Borough of Essex Fells for the first time.  In preparing my State of the Borough address for tonight, I re-read the comments I made that night.  My remarks were filled with honest and sincere feelings of enthusiasm for the challenges that lie ahead, an impatience and excitement about going forth with the governing body and administration to meet those challenges head on, and with a promise to you all that I would do my best to earn your trust and confidence each day and work unceasingly to honor and respect the cherished trust placed in me to fulfill all of the duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Mayor of the Borough of Essex Fells each day, every day.  

Twelve years later, please know that the enthusiasm for the challenges still rages; the impatience and excitement still burns; and the promise to earn your trust and confidence each day, every day, is unbroken and everlasting.    

I would like to thank the people of Essex Fells for their confidence in me and for reaffirming all the good work that we together have accomplished during the last twelve years.  I have never, ever, considered the Mayor’s office as an office that you “win,” rather; it is an office that you “earn,” and one that you must earn every day. Thank you for having the confidence and trust in me to allow me the absolute privilege to continue to be your Mayor and to represent and lead this wonderful town for another term.  I look forward to the next four years with unbridled enthusiasm and excitement.  You have bestowed upon me a magnificent honor, “a glorious burden,” and one that I will work tirelessly to uphold. 

I would also like to thank my dear friends for their friendship and support – over the years they have been members of – not the Council or a Cabinet - but actually more of a “kitchen cabinet” by freely sharing with me their thoughts and concerns for our beloved Borough, and I have drawn great insight and strength from your friendship and support. 

You don’t do a job like this without the love and support of one’s family.  My heartfelt thanks goes to my family - my wife Jill, for her constant – though at times, possibly reluctant – encouragement; my son Ted – for his absolute and blinding confidence in believing that I will never leave this chair until I’m dead; and my daughter Kelly – for her remarkable ability to always make me try harder to make her proud of me, as only daughters can do to their fathers, but most importantly, to all three of you, thank you for your ever-constant love, support, and understanding. It means the world to me. 

And so, our well-established goal has always been to bring Essex Fells’ services and programs up to date and to establish a plan for our future, while honoring our past and preserving the unique character of our town.  So it has been, so it is now, and so shall it continue to be. 

God bless these United States, God bless Essex Fells, and God Bless you all.

View the State of the Borough Address 2014

Veteran's Day Address By Mayor Abbot


In 1918, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated.  After four years of bitter war, the Allied powers signed an armistice with Germany in the forest of Compiegne at Rethondes, France, bringing the First World War to a close.  All over the globe, there were many celebrations; no doubt the world never before witnessed such rejoicing.  “The War to End All Wars,” was over.

In November, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued his Armistice Day Proclamation.  The last paragraph set the tone for future observances:

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation.

In 1927, Congress issued a resolution requesting President Calvin Coolidge issue a proclamation calling upon officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people to observe the day in schools and churches.  But it was not until 1938 that Congress passed a bill that each November 11, “shall be dedicated to the cause of world peace and … hereafter celebrated as Armistice Day.”

That same year President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a bill making the day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.  For sixteen years, the United States formally observed Armistice Day with impressive ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the Chief Executive or his representative placed a wreath.  On that day at 11 am, in many towns across our great country, all traffic was stopped, words of tribute and thanks were expressed, volleys were fired, and taps were played.  

After World War II, there were many new veterans who had little or no association with World War I. The word “armistice,” means simply a truce; therefore, as years passed, the significance of the title changed.  Leaders of veteran organizations decided to change this and sought to have an official designation making November 11 the time to honor all those who served and fought in the various American wars, not just in World War I.

In Emporia, Kansas, on November 11, 1953, instead of an Armistice Day program, there was a Veterans Day observance.  Ed Rees, of Emporia, was so impressed that he introduced a bill into the House to change the name to Veterans Day.  After this passed, Mr. Rees wrote to all state governors and asked for their approval and cooperation in observing the changed holiday.  The name was change to Veterans Day by an Act of Congress on May 24, 1954.  In October of that year, President Eisenhower called on all citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all those who served so proudly and fought so gallantly through rededication of the task of promoting an enduring peace.  The President referred to the changed name as “Veterans Day” in honor of the servicemen and women of all of America’s wars.

Today, across our great country, and throughout the world, Americans remember and honor our nation’s veterans; the brave men and women who fought during times of war and who fought to maintain the peace, and who have assured us our freedoms through their duty, their honor, their courage, and their selfless service.

To all our veterans, no matter where or when you served, regardless of in what branch of military you served, the citizens of the Borough of Essex Fells have a simple, yet heartfelt message – Thank you.  Thank you for your selfless service in peacetime and in war, here in this nation and throughout the world.  Our veterans deserve the assurances and recognition from a grateful Borough and nation that what they accomplished, as such a high personal cost to them, enables all of us to enjoy our liberties and freedoms and a future free from fear.

Our veterans have paid for these freedoms with their courage and honor.  They have defended America through both the best and the worst times and they have performed their difficult duties tirelessly and with little recognition or fanfare.  For their service, they have neither sought fortune nor fame.  A simple love of country and liberty compelled them to serve this great nation of ours.  

The Borough of Essex Fells also wants you to know that we recognize that your example serves to inspire others who follow in your footsteps.  For our soldiers today, like the veterans who came before them, they will always draw their strength from the values that you veterans has so bravely demonstrated: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage, and love of country.  These values have always been with our troops and continue to sustain them to this very day as they are placed in harm’s way in Afghanistan and throughout the world.  They are the essential values embodied by all who have served, and continue to serve, our nation.

Our veterans, better than anyone else, understand that our nation was founded not on the greatness of the past, but the promise of the future.  They know that freedom is not free and that eternal vigilance is the price we must always pay for our liberty.

The Borough of Essex Fells must resolve to thank and support all our veterans for their outstanding service to our nation.  Let us thank them not only today, but also every day.  Remember our veterans and remember that they paid physically and emotionally to keep our nation safe.  And let us also remember our present servicemen and women – America’s future veterans – America’s sons and daughters – who have selflessly made the decision to defend our rights and freedoms that we enjoy and cherish as Americans.

Additionally, we remember and give thanks to the veterans’ families, for they have also paid a price for our freedoms.

We will never be able to adequately thank our veterans, our soldiers and their families, but we must always respect, honor, and support them.

To the Essex Fells Sixth Grade Class who joins us today, there is something that I’d like you to know and to remember.  These veterans with us here today, these older senior gentlemen and lady, these neighbors, these folks that you see around town- - - - - were soldiers once.  Essex Fells veterans have served our country and fought in our nations wars all over the world – as soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines, coast guardsmen, WAVES, in every branch of service and in every theater of operation.   They did so, honestly, because our country asked them to do it, because they felt it was their duty to serve, and because each felt that it was expected of them.   

“Hero” is a term that today is too often used and misapplied.  To me, a “hero” is someone who unconditionally gives himself to something greater than himself.  One who has all to risk, and little or nothing to gain, for the benefit of others; one who shows acts of bravery and courage and loyalty and love of country, without fanfare of fuss.  Kids, today, you stand here in the presence of heroes.  These veterans, “my guys” – the gentlemen and lovely lady who stand before you – when, not much older than yourselves, proudly and with great sacrifice answered the call of our nation and served her with a great sense of duty, honor, and country.   All is ask of each of you is to remember that, to remember them, and to appreciate all that they have done.

In closing, I would like to read one of my favorite passages, written by Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, which reminds me of the thanks we owe to our veterans:

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press;
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech;
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom of demonstrations;
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

I would only add, “It is the American soldier” who gives us these very cherished freedoms.

A grateful Borough remembers; a grateful Borough gives thanks; and a grateful Borough will always honor her veterans.

God bless you all, God bless and protect our veterans of today and those of the future, and may God continue to bless the Borough of Essex Fells and these United States.

                        Edward P. Abbot
                        Mayor
                        Borough of Essex Fells
                        November 11, 2013

View Veteran's Day Address By Mayor Abbot