The Lions Contribution to
Bergenfield’s Memorial Day Parade
Lifelike and nearly to scale, the image on the flatbed trailer brought to life one of the best-known symbols of the true meaning of Memorial Day to the hundreds of viewers along the parade route—the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier—recreated through the genius of Joe Verga, Bergenfield Lions Club President and his hard-working crew.
Each year the project begins many months ahead, first with Verga’s vision of what this special day should mean to all who view it—from the very young children who scramble for the free candy that rains down from the many groups of marchers—to the high school kids, young adults and seniors who applaud and cheer as the float rolls by.
We should all be conscious of what we ask of our service men and women. All of us have family or friends that served, were wounded or who gave their lives in the many wars fought to preserve the freedom we all enjoy and take for granted. That is the universal message that Verga tends to display each year with his prize-winning floats.
Verga’s passion for his work he credits to his engineering background, evidenced by his knowledge of how to prefabricate parts that fit perfectly when finally assembled in the last two days before the parade. It’s a passion that begins with his love of country and renews each year as tie float passes the reviewing stand at the parade’s end. He is already thinking about new ideas for next year. These thoughts never wander far from his mind even on the Verga’s family vacations. Where else would his passion bring them of course, perhaps to the greatest display of float-building in the world, the 2011 Rose Bowl Parade.
Verga encourages all those who share his passion, not only for building floats, but to eagerly serve their community to join him and all the Lions Club members in their year-round efforts not only to eliminate preventable blindness in the world, but also to support the many youth-oriented projects right here in Bergenfield. Building the float, in his mind, is icing on the cake.
The Bergenfield Lions meet year-round every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at
Tommy Fox’s at 7pm. Anyone interested, please stop by.