A Last Fourth at the Legion Hall
A Journey into River Edge
The speaker's platform is in place along Continental Avenue. That means that the Fourth of July is upon us.
After the parade, the Mayor and other dignitaries will say a few words about our town and our nation. No matter what is going on beyond River Edge, the day tends to have a time endurng quality.
In the midst of the speeches little is likely to be said of the last Fourth of July for a longtime mainstay in town that is now on its last days.
The old American Legion Hall is set to come down.
It has been there sitting vacant now for years, but in its time it was a heart of town.
It was the Sgt. Walter Scott Brown Legion building that used serve as the backdrop for Little League pictures. It was the headquarters for the Memorial Day observance - floral wreaths were stacked in its shade and inside for protection when it rained.
It was where accomplishments were celebrated. It was where we remembered those who fought for our freedoms. It was built by and for the Legion, but, in for a long time it was as much a symbol for all of us in River Edge as "The Soldier" sculpture that has come to replace it in the hearts and minds of later generations of locals.
We are told that a new structure replacing it will serve as a long sought after and much needed community center for Seniors and others.
We do not doubt that many positive memories will be produced at the new center. However, we cannot but be saddened by the passing of a building once so dear to the community that was needlessly left to deteriorate.
They recently opened a time capsule long ago planted in the foundation of the Hall. Not much was said to have been uncovered. Doesn't matter. The building provides a treasure trove of memories. It soon will be gone, but by at least some, not forgotten.