TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblymen Ryan Peters, John DiMaio and Erik Peterson will introduce a resolution celebrating American hero and New Jersey’s very own John Basilone. Basilone, who was raised in Raritan, became a national hero for his many triumphs during World War II.
Basilone was the first enlisted Marine to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, and he is the only enlisted Marine to posthumously earn the Navy Cross. The USS John Basilone, a guided missile destroyer being built in Bath, Maine, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022. The first USS John Basilone was decommissioned after three decades in 1977.
His heroic acts were a central theme in HBO’s show The Pacific.
“John Basilone’s heroic deeds are an inspiration to so many Americans, and to celebrate a New Jersey hero with his own day is a fitting tribute to a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom,” said Peters (R- Burlington). “His sense of duty and honor is one of the many reasons John Basilone should be celebrated statewide.”
Basilone was Killed in Action while serving in Iwo Jima, the location of one of the most recognizable photos in military history, the famous flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi.
“When I see those four troops raise the flag I get filled with pride, patriotism and inspiration,” said Peterson (R-Hunterdon). “To know Basilone gave his all serving with the brave service members in the photo is something all New Jerseyans should be proud of and celebrate.”
This is the 38th year Raritan has celebrated the accomplishments of their hometown hero with an annual parade. The parade will take place September 22 at 1 p.m. along Somerset Street in Raritan.
“The town of Raritan has done an excellent job honoring the life of this American hero,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “It’s only right New Jersey does the same for this brave Marine.”