Residents Rallying for Fallen GI, Ben Moore, Demonstrates Unique Unity of Bordentown’s Historic Bedroom Community

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Bordentown, NJ was bustling as people came out to show their respects for fallen American war hero, Pfc. Benjamin G. Moore, member of the 693rd Engineer Company out of Fort Drum, NY, 23, who was laid to rest on Saturday the 22nd of January, 2011.

For someone that you don’t really know personally, I thought to myself, what a wonderful tribute to a fallen hero; he had to be quite a person to be honored in this way. It made me think about how proud I was to be an American.

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The smaller town of Bordentown, NJ was bustling with thousands of patriots – inclusive of its residents and its own war veterans, as well as many US veterans from around the country – as people came out to show their respects and to honor and remember fallen war hero, Pfc. Benjamin G. Moore, member of the 693rd Engineer Company out of Fort Drum, NY, 23, who was laid to rest on Saturday the 22nd of January, 2011.

Moore died in Afghanistan when an IED (improvised explosive device) killed him in the line of duty while valiantly serving his country.

In spite of the planned protests by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church – which pickets at many veteran memorials around the US, claiming that our country is being punished for its tolerance of homosexuality – Bordentown came alive, united together as one, and the residents and its businesses, and even folks from nearby counties and cities, assured that Moore’s procession was peaceful and without unrest, as they bid their farewells to a fallen American hero.

Bordentown is a small town of barely 4,000 residents, but its history dates backs to the Revolutionary War, and some of the original signees of the Declaration of Independence even resided here [Francis Hopkinson; 1737-1791]. The town embraces the honoring of war veterans who have given their lives in the name of freedom for one and all.

Moore’s tragic death was treated no differently.

Known by most of the town as the beloved “Mayor of Bordentown,” Moore received the customary military bugle requiem followed by an honorary three volley rifle salute and the folding of the flag, which was offered on behalf of the United States of America, and was presented to and accepted by his family.

Moore’s grandmother thanked the large crowd of people who had gathered to remember one of their own, telling them, “I love all of you people for thinking so much of him and having such wonderful things to say. He was the sweetest, loving child anyone ever knew.”

Moore’s passing and the hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of supporters that came out for his funeral and memorial is directly in juxtaposition with the mindset and manner of the residents of Bordentown. It’s a small town ambience that is truly reminiscent of something that is not so easily found in the US during the present day. It’s a place where everyone knows everyone, and a place where you are welcomed with outstretched arms and smiling faces.

Bordentown is such a closely woven community that business owners are all known by first name, even by people who may not have ever contracted them or had a need for their products or services.

If you find yourself in Bordentown, it’s not the same as you might imagine many other small towns would be. Visitors are offered some unique amenities while traveling through this little niche in the heart of New Jersey.

A widely reviewed and very popular business in Bordentown happens to be a gourmet restaurant called Oliver a Bistro, an intimate eatery that specializes in Central and South American-Caribbean fares using a French technique with Mediterranean and Asian ingredients.

“We frequent this establishment often, it is our favorite place to eat in Bordentown,” said Bryan Byard, a longtime Bordentown resident. “I like the atmosphere and the food quality is excellent. I really like that it’s a BYOB, (bring your own bottle [of wine]; the restaurant does not have a liquor license so guests dining at Oliver a Bistro are allowed to bring their own wine to enjoy with their meal).”

When asked what he finds to be so attractive about living in Bordentown, Byard said that it’s about the town’s rich history and the togetherness of its residents.

“It’s a small town and a very historic community; Thomas Paine [1737-1809] lived here. Being that it’s small, it’s also very tight-knit,” he explained. “People are really nice and friendly here. Moore’s death was a very heartwarming story. The entire community really came out to support him and his family. He was also a firefighter and an EMT. Moore was very loved by the people of Bordentown.”

Massage therapist and Bordentown resident, Pamela Dahl, who works at the reputed Wellness Center of Bordentown – a signature day spa and wellness center that incorporates an eclectic mixture of Eastern and Western healing philosophies into their own unique brand of natural healing – said that Moore’s story and the way that the townspeople united to celebrate his life was nearly indescribable.

“Ben went to school with my son. He was two years ahead of him, however, and I did not know him personally,” Dahl said. “Just being in town and looking down the street at the memorial…the only word that I could think of was: Surreal.”

Even though Dahl didn’t know Moore personally, it didn’t change the fact that she, like every other resident of the town, was impacted, touched and affected by his passing.

“For someone that you don’t really know personally, I thought to myself, what a wonderful tribute to a fallen hero; he had to be quite a person to be honored in this way. It made me think about how proud I was to be an American, as a first-generation immigrant, and how proud I was to be a resident of Bordentown,” Dahl recalled of Ben’s memorial.

Moore’s memorial was so extraordinary and moving that Dahl said it’s unlike anything that she’s ever seen in her life before.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in Seattle, and I lived there for 30 years,” she said. “There were a lot of folks in town that did not know him, and it’s just hard to describe, it was all very emotional. It was amazing how the people in this town came together to protect his family from the Westborough Baptist Church, who was trying to mar Ben’s memory. It just makes me so proud to be a part of this small-knit community.”

Tantamount to Bordentown’s multifarious mixture of hospitable residents, and the town’s equally as diverse history, are some inspiring personal stories that are very relevant to the underlying superlatives of what it truly means to be an American citizen.

Marinela Csefan – one of the estheticians at the Wellness Center of Bordentown – is a transplant from Romania, who came to America two decades ago, like Dahl, in pursuit of the ‘American Dream’ that many would-be immigrants from around the world fantasize about.

“Marinella is from Romania,” said Dahl of her coworker. “I met her about 8 months ago. She’s an esthetician working at the wellness center, alongside of myself and the owner, Jayme Bussey. Much like me, Marinella is in pursuit of the ‘American Dream.’ And we are both first-generation immigrants.”

Moore’s heartbreaking story has recently placed Bordentown under the national spotlight, but the town is literally bursting at the seams with good folks just like him. It’s seemingly in par with the mantra and mindset of these humble residents. Everyone who comes to Bordentown is considered to be a part of its far-reaching and ever-growing family.

“There’s just something about this town, it just warms your heart about how everyone comes together,” Dahl explained. “When I saw all of the townspeople come out, and the fire trucks lined up on the street, I called my mother and told her that I’d never seen anything like this before. Even when protestors were involved, the town ensured that everything was handled peacefully. It really touches you, and being a West Coast girl, this is one of the things that keeps me in Bordentown.”

“You feel so very welcomed here,” Dahl inferred. “It’s like the TV show Cheers…everyone knows your name.”

About:
This press release was composed to honor Bordentown’s American hero, Pfc. Benjamin G. Moore, member of the 693rd Engineer Company out of Fort Drum, NY, 23, who died in Afghanistan when an IED (improvised explosive device) killed him while in the line of duty and valiantly serving his country. Moore was laid to rest on Saturday the 22nd of January in Bordentown, NJ. He may be fallen, but will never be forgotten.

For more information about Oliver a Bistro, please visit:
http://oliverabistro.com/

For more information about the Wellness Center of Bordentown, please visit: http://wellnesscenterofbordentown.com/

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Jane desGrosseilliers
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