11 November 2016

Hillsborough Veterans Honored

If you've ever driven past the old Hillsborough Township municipal building on East Mountain Rd. (the original Amwell Rd.) you have no doubt noticed the boulder on the front lawn. Today the boulder displays a rather nondescript sign with the words "Hillsborough Township Department of Public Works", but not very long ago the big rock displayed an entirely different message.

On May 9, 1943, Hillsborough Township unveiled it's War Honor Roll with the names of 190 Hillsborough members of the armed forces and merchant marine standing out in bold relief from a plaque affixed to the boulder in their honor. Hillsborough's opera star Anna Case Mackay sang The Star-Spangled Banner, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and her new composition Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We'll Pull Together backed by the Belle Mead Army Service Forces Depot Band. 

8 April 1943 Courier News

Professor C. Elliott Smith of New York University was the emcee and the Belle Mead Depot chaplain gave an address. They were joined by Depot commanding officer R. Potter Campbell and other dignitaries.

After the war, more names were added - denoting the over 300 Hillsborough men and women who served in World War II. The plaque can be seen today at the Garden of Honor at the new (25-year-old!) municipal complex on South Branch Road.

In December 1943, the Somerville Trust Company published an 8-page large format folio, possibly a newspaper supplement, with photos of Somerville area servicemen and women. I surrounded a recent photo of the plaque with the eighteen Hillsborough veterans that were included. I encourage readers to click on the image when you are at your computer to get a better look at the photo and all of the names. 

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