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Thousands lined the streets of Raritan Sunday to honor John Basilone, the famed borough resident and World War II hero that the town has been honoring with a parade since 1981.

a man holding a dog on a leash: Robert Fox of the Young Hawk Bear Post 253 from North Dakota places his head dress on a tree while waiting for the the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for Robert Fox of the Young Hawk Bear Post 253 from North Dakota places his head dress on a tree while waiting for the the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 a group of people walking down the street: The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

Basilone, a Marine sergeant, was awarded the country’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942.

a bottle of wine next to a building: Marine color guard passes a table of honor for the 13 US service members killed recently in Afghanistan, by Scott Hobbs, during the the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for Marine color guard passes a table of honor for the 13 US service members killed recently in Afghanistan, by Scott Hobbs, during the the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

He returned to the states on a war bond tour, including a large parade in Raritan in 1943, and was a celebrity serviceman. He elected to return to the war in the Pacific, and front-line combat, and died in 1945 on Iwo Jima - for which he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

a group of people walking down the street in front of a crowd: The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

Beautiful blue skies greeted the return of this year’s marching parade. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade was a motorcade that covered a 4-mile route, said parade chairman Bruce Doorly. This year’s parade returned to the normal 1-mile length.

a group of people walking down the street talking on a cell phone: US Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nick D'Andrea salutes the flag during the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for US Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nick D'Andrea salutes the flag during the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

More than 100 units marched in the parade.

a man holding a baseball bat: Marines dressed in WWII era clothing are reflected in shop window on Main Street during the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for Marines dressed in WWII era clothing are reflected in shop window on Main Street during the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

“I was 13 years old when I rode my bike to the first parade (1943),” said Gregory Castelli who was born in 1929 and remembers Basilone, the parade, and the movie stars that accompanied the event at what was then known as Duke Park.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: US Navy members marching in The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for US Navy members marching in The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

“It’s a very good parade,” said Castelli who added, “I never miss the parade.”

a man wearing a hat: A marine before the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for A marine before the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

According to the Basilone Parade website, Basilone is the only enlisted Marine awarded the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross, return to action after receiving the Medal of Honor and be killed in action, and to have an annual parade in his honor.

a group of people walking in front of a building: The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

“Basilone is a real hero to us, he didn’t have to go back and he went back,” said Doorly.

a group of people walking down the street: The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

Basilone’s life and heroics were featured prominently in “The Pacific,” the 2010 HBO miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. In it, Basilone was portrayed by Jon Seda.

a group of people sitting at a table in front of a building: Scott Hobbs stands behind a table of honor for the 13 US service members killed recently in Afghanistan, during the the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for Scott Hobbs stands behind a table of honor for the 13 US service members killed recently in Afghanistan, during the the John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

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a group of people walking down the street: The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021 © Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The John Basilone Parade, in Raritan, N.J. September, 19, 2021

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/40-years-on-nj-town-celebrates-marine-awarded-the-medal-of-honor/ar-AAOChus

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