John Basilone Memorial Parade in Raritan NJ returns Sept. 18

RARITAN BOROUGH – Earl Miller wasn’t certain why he joined the Marine Corps.

He knew he had one thing to show to himself, and with the inspiration from a neighbor’s Marine son, Miller thought becoming a member of the navy could be the avenue to realize his purpose.

In 1962, 17-year-old Miller, together with 74 different New Jersey recruits, discovered themselves headed in addition camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, as members of the newly created John Basilone Honor Platoon 251, named after the Raritan-born and bred World Conflict II hero. The platoon included Basilone’s nephew, William D. Brownson from Clifton.

“It was a giant deal on the time,” stated Miller, who was from Brief Hills. “It was an uncommon occasion with all 75 recruits from New Jersey. We knew that we have been a particular platoon as a result of our senior drill teacher knowledgeable us about all the things, and he was well-versed in Marine Corps historical past. We have been very proud to characterize a hero, particularly one from New Jersey.”

John Basilone Honor Platoon 251 was made up of 75 Marine Corps recruits from New Jersey.

Miller confessed he didn’t know of Basilone earlier than he headed to Parris Island. That new data instilled much more satisfaction and bonding among the many Backyard State recruits, and the expertise, for Miller and most of the different younger males, proved to be life-changing and life-affirming.

“I had a bit of little bit of an insecurity complicated, I assume, and I simply stated, ‘If I make it by means of Marine Corps boot camp, I could make it by means of something in life,’” stated Miller, who celebrated his 18th birthday at Parris Island. “It was a problem and it set a path for me extensive and clear, and it actually helped create the individual that I, finally, have change into. And, you already know, President Reagan had stated, ‘Some folks spend their whole lives questioning in the event that they made a distinction. Marines do not have that downside.'”

Right now, the Basilone Honor Platoon is among the first teams to march within the annual John Basilone Memorial Parade. On Sunday, about 10 members are anticipated to hitch to honor the platoon’s namesake on the forty first annual Basilone parade stepping off at 1 p.m.

Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone

This 12 months’s parade marks the platoon’s sixtieth anniversary, stated Angie Bowden, who took over the organizing effort a number of years in the past after Miller moved to Florida. Her father, George Marish Jr., an unique member of the platoon, died in February 2021 at age 76. He had at all times been proud to march, Bowden stated.

The John Basilone Memorial Parade is the one parade within the nation honoring a World Conflict II hero. Basilone, a member of the U.S. Marines, obtained the Congressional Medal of Honor for his motion in the course of the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942 and the Navy Cross posthumously for extra heroism within the Battle of Iwo Jima the place he was killed in 1945. He’s the one Marine to have obtained each honors in addition to return to motion after which be killed in motion.

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