Friday, May 30, 2014

Guest for Memorial Day 2014

  On this past Memorial Day  the Borough of Bogota had the honour to host a Platoon of U.S.Marines from Fleet Week in New York. They are from the Second Marine Air Wing, Units HMLA-269 Light Attack Helicopter Squadron,  VMM-266  Medium Tiltrotor Squadron,  and HMH-464 Heavy  Helicopter Squadron all based in Jacksonville, NC. The Women & Men took part in the American Legion / VFW Remembrance Ceremonies in front of Borough Hall. Lcpl Brandon Parks &  Lcpl Jonathan Muniz served as escorts to  Rebecca Pigoncelli when she placed a wreath at the MIA/ POW Monument.
  After the ceremony the Marines were first invited to the W. Broad St. Firehouse for a chance to relax and meet some of the Volunteer Firefighters.  They were treated to a snack of Hot dogs and sodas. The service personnel exchange small gifts with Asst. Chief Michael Brophy being presented with a unit " Challenge Coin" from PFC Kristi Schweers, and she received patches of the companies of the Bogota Fire Dept.  The Marines next moved to the VFW post 5561 Hall to a sit down lunch of Sandwiches and sides and a chance to hear stories from the Veterans gathered.  The Younger soldiers listened to tales from past conflicts, which some of the Marines may have heard from their Father & Grandfathers. While the Veterans had a chance to learn about the changes that have taken place, and how some things are still the same, since they served the Country.
   Bogota Blog NJ had a chance to talk about life in the Marines and their visit to New Jersey.  Some Lcpl Muniz & Lcpl McGowin  come from the New York area and enjoyed the chance to see Family & friends.  Other came from mainly small towns from across the Country, from  New Hampshire & Florida to Texas & California being just a few. For many this was their first opportunity to visit the New York area they have had some memorable experiences to return home with.  The first being the size of the building of Manhattan, and the quick pace of the city. A transit system that reaches many different parts and the volume of traffic to travel in. Then to come to a vastly different lifestyle only a few miles away in New Jersey.  The single homes with lawns, and porches. The tree lined streets along with the kids playing along the side. They also would have liked to thank all of the people along the parade route who applauded them as they marched by.
   When asked about why the choice of joining  the Marines some have a family background of Military service. With a few growing up as grandchildren of former Marines and now sharing experiences with those members of the Family. Other are first generation Marines trying to sign-up as young as 17, and finally doing so at 19. There were stories of how High School & even College life was leaving them with something missing. Either a lack of discipline or structure that  could cause the "wrong" decision to be made as well as a desire to push oneself further than what their day to day life was at that time. A duty to serve the Country and help other, or a way of "paying back" they opportunities living in the United States have given them & their Families over the years. Of the hardest part about being a part of the Marines is the absence of Family & friends. Being away for long period of time,and only have a short few moments together was echoed by many that were asked.
  On the question of what was one of the best things about being a  part of the Marines it proved to be more difficult to answer.  The choices were many for just one to be the right answer. Travel, adventure & serving the Country were top answers. Other were the chance to not only learn new skills, but to learn what they had inside themselves, even if they did not know it was in them. The chance to learn how to be a leader, and the surprize of being a role model by doing one's job. Stories of children asking for autographs, being congratulated  as well as thanked for their service. The tears of joy from Family upon graduation from boot camp.
  When asked about boot camp it was a time that never seemed to end, but something that would never forget.  They told of starting with a 40 hour day which began at Midnight  with the arrive at Camp. Being told were to go, what to do when & how do it. When to talk if ever, and what to say when one was allowed. How to think, how can one move faster, higher, stronger, on how did you ever think you could make it with the Marines? All by a voice that was either LOUD or LOUDER.   Some who were interviewed were envious of others because they had a whole two minutes to shower the end of that first "day". Both the Women & Men that were interviewed share the same stories of Boot Camp. When ask if it was harder to be a Female in the Marines the answer was by the time Camp, and other Basic training was finish, the person that came out was another Marine. They all have the same duty to perform, the same oath to Country the same EGA ( or Eagle, Anchor, Globe  which is the embellin which is earned when completing boot camp) pin to a Marines collar , and the same history behind them.
 The Marines attend the Remembrance service.

 Lcpl Brandon Parks &  Lcpl Jonathan Muniz  escorting  Rebecca Pigoncelli
with the wreath for the MIA/ POW Monument. 

Asst. Chief Michael Brophy being presented with a
unit " Challenge Coin" from PFC Kristi Schweers,

 The Marines and Firefighter in front of the W. Broad St. Firehouse

VFW Cmdr Alex Hernandez serving the Marines who serve the Country

 Marching in the Parade.
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  In the post of 29- May Bogota Blog NJ was under the opinion the quoted numbers were taken for an earlier post. The Blog has been informed that is was from a Post on 27-May-2014 and taken from the  statement  Mayor Jackson provided. The Blog felt that it was being quoted, and apologises for the confusion. The Blog would like to thank Mr. George Silos for clarifying the situation.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


  A flier is being distributed around Bogota that misquotes an article by Bogota Blog NJ.  In the seventh paragraph is says that the Borough would receive $2.6 million from the developer. This is an inaccurate    statement the full statement from a Blog Post of  4-Nov.-2013 reads as follows: Borough official estimate a total of $3.3 million for the life of the agreement. Under normal property taxes bill the Borough estimated total for the same time frame would about $2.3 million at the current tax rate. During the 30 year agreement the developer could not ask, or sue, for a reassessment. Under the PILOT agreement the Borough would 95% of the funds.  The total taxes  on the Dewey property would have been $7.8 million the Borough would only receive 30% of that number or $2.3 million without the PILOT program.  This Blog has also stated in the past the Board of Education does need to be properly fund. This Blog has also know that many school districts around the country have their PILOT type programs with developers and  questions why the Bogota Board of Education did not look into this.  
  Another point is the use of the vehicle by Mr. Jackson as head of the Bogota OEM. When a different person takes over that position then the vehicle will be for their use. Bogota Blog NJ does support the limitation on the use of that vehicle. 
 Bogota Blog NJ does not endorse any one candidate or party. This blogs tries to present the facts as given to it. In the past this Blog has corrected mistake that it makes, and will continue to try and do the best job it can for the Borough of Bogota and it's residents. 


   On Memorial Day  morning the Volunteer Depts. of Bogota's Emergency Services came out  to be inspected by the Administration  of the Borough. All four Volunteer Fire Companies and the units of the First Aid Squad  lined-up in front of Borough Hall to greet the officials, and to explain a bit about their equipment. Mayor Tito Jackson along with Council Members Lisa Kohles, Chris Keleman & Rob Robbins were escorted on a tour of the Departments. They  first had a chance to look over the rebuilt Hook & Ladder #1 that was return this year. They were told about the improvement to the rig which allows  the Firefighters to do their job better, and keep the Volunteers safer as well. 
  Before the inspection could proceed the Fire Dept had to respond  to a call. They quickly donned their turn out suits, over their dress uniforms,  and made their way to the incident. It was a Homeowner who reported a gas smell. The Volunteers secured the situation , and helped vent the house of the fumes. Then returned to finish with the Inspection.
  The  Volunteer First Aid Squad also showed the Administration some of their equipment which allows them to perform their duties.  Councilman Keleman took the time to gauge the weight of one of the stretchers that could be deployed.  Noting that even empty the work & strength needed to use it.
  After the Inspection Reverent Tim Graff from St. Joseph's Church lead a remembrance ceremony at the Service Monuments to the Women & Men who had lost their lives while on call. Then the Volunteers & the Administration moved to the W.Broad St. Fire House for a rededication of the plaque that list the names the Association of Exempt Firemen of Bogota, NJ. The plaque which once was in Borough Hall had been removed and placed in storage. It was refurbished and updated and now is on display to be seen and it's members remembered.
  The personnel of the Bogota Fire Department,  Rescue Squad 46, The First-Aid Squad, and the Auxiliary Police Dept. are all Volunteers. They take their time away from their Jobs and their Families to help keep the Borough of Bogota safe.     Any one wishing to become a volunteer for one , or more of the Bogota Emergency Services should either call the Borough at  201-342-1736 ext 2007 or go to the Boroughs website at:   

 Fire Trucks and...
..some of the Equipment (from Hose Co.#2)..

.. The Volunteers (here of Engine Co. #3) waiting to be inspected.

 Scott Woegens  Of Hook & Ladder #1 explaining some of
the Equipment to the Administration 

Mayor & Council Members meeting the Volunteers of Engine Co. #1

Leann Cordero showing some of the First -Aid Squad Equipment.

 Councilman Keleman feeling the weight of a Stretcher.

Firefighter called away from the Inspection. 

 Rev. Tim Graff leading the Remembrance.

The Rededication  of the plaque to Bogota Firefighters.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weekend Events

28- May-2014
   Some event happening in and around Bogota NJ for the weekend starting 29-May-2014.

It is ask that one to  vote for Mazzway Photos LLC, the Parent Company of  Bogota Blog NJ  at : For a $25,000  prize to help expand Bogota Blog NJ . Voting ends 30- June Vote as often as possible.

Thursday 29- May
   The Real Bogota Democrats candidates will be holding a  dinner at Luka's Italian Restaurant on Thursday 29- May. This will take place from 6:00p to 9:00p Suggested donation is $100.00  For more information please visit their Face Book page at:
Luka's Italian Restaurant is located at 10 River Road Bogota, NJ.

 (it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

Friday 30-May
Teaneck, NJ

The Roni Ben-Hur Trio


May. 30 07:00 pm
20 Puffin Way , Teaneck NJ   
Heralded jazz guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and trio perform select compositions reflecting Latin and North African panache as well as classic jazz standards. The trio represents the passionate emotionality, worldly diversity, musical virtuosity that defines the contemporary jazz of NYC today.

$10 Suggested Donation
Reservations Recommended
Sunday 1-May
On The North Jersey Friendship House will hold their 8th Annual Wellness Walk for Mental Heath & Autism  Registration is at 9:30a and the walk starts at 10:00a at Olsen Park Bogota, NJ. We start the festivities at the Walk with breakfast: crumb cake, bagels, coffee, juice, water and at lunchtime we have a BBQ. Our DJ provides music and entertaining for our walkers and every walker gets a T-Shirt. This year, the Bogota Health Department is helping us by having a nurse at the walk to give blood pressure screening and we have a Zumba instructor to start the walk with some warm up routines. We have a raffle with great prizes, face painting and carnival games as well. Our CEO and Board Chairman will welcome and thank our supporters and sponsors and sometimes we have a Freeholder or other dignitary present to say a few words as well.
 For more information, or to pre-register please call 201-488-2121,    email: , or visit their  website at
They will also be holding an open house on Friday 30-May from 1:00p to 4:00p. The are located at 125 Atlantic Ave. Hackensack, NJ

Sunday 1-May
 The Trinity Lutheran Church will be hosting their Fifth Annual Neighborhood Picnic. This will take place after the 10:30a Service and be in the Trinity Church yard. Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Chips, and refreshments will be provided.  The Trinity School  Playground will be opened, with supervision for children to play in.  In case of rain the picnic will move to the lower activity room and the School Gym will be opened. This is open to the public and is free of charge. For more information please contact  Trinity School at 201-487-3580
  Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 167 Palisade Ave. Bogota, NJ

   (it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

  Bogota High School will hold it's annual Sports Award Dinner. This is to give the Student Athletes of Bogota High School the recognition for their accomplishments during the past school year. The dinner will take place in the High School Gymnasium starting at 6:00p. Tickets are $5.00 per person, with Student Athletes free of charge. Tickets must be purchased in advance, there will not be any ticket available at the door. To order tickets please contact Karen Rodgers at  
 Student wishing to purchase ticket please contact Coach Brad DiRupo during school hours.
 Families, and anyone else attending are asked to bring food items for a Potluck Dinner, for more information on that please also contact Ms. Rodgers.

 It is ask that one to  vote for Mazzway Photos LLC, the Parent Company of  Bogota Blog NJ  at : For a $25,000  prize to help expand Bogota Blog NJ . Voting ends 30- June Vote as often as possible.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Parade 2014

27- May-2014

                                           Scenes from the 2014 Bogota memorial Day Parade.

3-June-2014 Primary Election


On Tuesday 3- June -2014 the Borough of Bogota will hold their Primary elections.
 The Republican  ticket will go unchallenged with current Bogota Councilman Chris Keleman running for Mayor. Along with Daniele Fede and Donald Hunter being the two candidate for Borough Council.
 There are two groups running  in this year Primary to represent the Democratic Party in the General Elections in November. They are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot.  One is the “Bogota Democrats for Reform”. They are George Silos for Mayor , Councilman Evaristo Burdiez Jr.  and Tina Trotta for Borough Council. The other group is the “Real Bogota Democrats”  they are Mayor Tito Jackson, Councilwoman Lisa Kohles and Ingrid Brito .
  The Candidates for Mayor:
- George Silos: In 2005 Mr. Silos was elected to Bogota Borough Council as a Republican, then in June of his first year in  office changed parties to become a member of the Democratic party.  After a little more of a year in office he resigned his seat on the Borough Council after a number of disagreements with then Mayor Steve Lonegan.
- Tito Jackson Current Mayor of Bogota.  Mr Jackson was elected to Borough Council in 2008.  In 2013 Mr. Jackson  was named Acting Mayor when former Mayor Pat McHale resigned. Mr.  Jackson then assumed the Office of Mayor in  November of 2013.
  The Candidates for Borough Council:
-Evaristo Burdiez Jr: Currently  severing his first full term as a Member of Bogota Council when being elected in 2011. He was first appoint to Borough Council to replace Tara Sharp who resigned from Office in August of 2011.
- Tina Trotta: Was a candidate for Borough Council in 2012 running on the Republican ticket.
- Lisa Kohles: Current Councilwoman, was appointed to Council in 2013 to fill the seat vacated by Tito Jackson when he became Mayor of Bogota.
-Ingrid Brito: Was a Candidate for a seat on the Board of Education in 2013.
 Other local elections will be for County Committee  positions they are:
Luchy Jackson & Michelle Rupar and Santiago De La Cruz & Robert Ferro  one Female and Male candidate needs to be chosen.

There will also be two candidates running for the Nomination  the U.S. House of Representative: they are  Roy Cho and Diane Sarie
The following is the Platform of the two democratic groups running in the primary. The statements  have not been edited, and they are in the Candidates own words.
From the Democrats for reform:
Bogota’s Financial Challenge -- Since I am a “numbers” man let me share a couple of statistics with you. The general property tax rate is the sum of the county, school and municipal tax rates as a percentage of “appraised” value.  Another statistic is the effective property tax rate, which better enables comparisons across municipalities because it assumes all municipalities are at 100% valuation. 

According to the website of the NJ Division of Taxation, in 2013 the Bogota effective property tax rate was 3.19%, the highest in Bergen County! In 2008 the Bogota effective tax rate was 2.07% -- so the increase between 2008 and 2013 was 54.1%, also the highest in Bergen County! These numbers indicate that taxes are rising and the values of our homes are falling faster than in any of the 70 municipalities in Bergen County.

I do not believe my opponent in this election has a personal or financial track record that compares to my own. I have been fortunate enough to be continuously employed for the past 32-years as an actuary and financial analyst. I have managed my personal finances in a prudent manner, saving for a home, retirement and college tuition. I have always paid my mortgage bill on time and I have never declared personal bankruptcy ever, especially not in the past four years. I do not believe my opponent  can  truthfully make similar statements.

Platform – My running mates are Tina Trotta and Evaristo “Junior” Burdiez. We are the Democrats for Reform team. Our slogan is “Putting Taxpayers First”. All three of us have substantial private sector financial backgrounds. Our team name and our slogan describe our platform in a nutshell. We want to reform our governing body and we would like to put the interest of taxpayers first. We believe in true Democratic Party values – like working for the middle class and not special interests.

Budget Crisis  – Stop the reckless spending. Use best practice processes to control utility expenses and spending on financial and general administration. Work on lowering effective property tax rates by expanding the tax base. Encourage commercial development. Stop courting and giving multi-million dollar tax breaks for builders of large housing projects such as the one planned for 297 Palisades Ave. Putting taxpayers first means even outside housing project developers should pay their fair share of property taxes. 

Invest in government services responsibly – In order to preserve public health, I think it is critical to continue twice a week garbage collection during the summer months. The borough should consider investing in financial technology that will limit the potential for waste, fraud and abuse.

End Government Gridlock – I have attended half a dozen council meetings in the past few months as a private citizen. In my opinion the meetings are a war zone where the mayor uses tea-party style obstruction tactics to filibuster and prevent the governing body from having free and fair debates. One of the most important responsibilities of the mayor is to preside over the meetings in a non-bullying manner. I have seen many citizens walk out of these meetings in disgust, and who can blame them. If I am elected mayor, I will responsibly listen and encourage debate and idea generation among the council members, administrator, attorney and borough clerk.

Do Not Engage in Legal Harassment of Bogota  Private Citizens – A few weeks ago the Bogota council voted 5-1 on a bipartisan basis (with all of the elected members voting in favor) to support Bogota private citizens who are in my view suffering harassment by the 297 Palisades Ave. developer. I believe this vote will enable the Borough to more successfully combat the legal actions being brought against the Borough by the housing project developer. Bogota citizens should be able to associate freely and speak their opinions without suffering legal harassment.

I think this developer has too cozy relationship with our mayor and town administrator. If the project proceeds – it will be a 30-year monument to bad decision making that will in my view cost the Borough $4.4 million dollars increased expenses and lost revenue. Although the Borough negotiated a very bad deal with this developer, even a bad deal is a deal, and the project should proceed – if the developer complies with all terms of the agreement.

Some private citizens, are Borough employees. Our leaders should keep the employees accountable, while treating them with encouragement and respect. My view is that our town leadership has not treated some employees, such as our long serving Borough Clerk, with the respect they deserve.

From the Real Bogota Democrats:
 Protecting Taxpayer Dollars

The issue at the heart of the fight for Bogota’s future is fairly straightforward: protecting taxpayer dollars is priority #1.

For Tito, Lisa and Ingrid that fight is real and best represented by their battle over professional service fees.  From legally challenging inflated attorney retainers to openly criticizing double-billing practices to refusing to pay professionals who misappropriate taxpayer dollars, Tito, Lisa and Ingrid have put taxpayers first at every turn.

It doesn’t stop there, though.  Speaking out isn’t enough.  Casting a single vote isn’t enough.  We must and we can do more.  That’s why Tito, Lisa and Ingrid want to take it one step further by replacing all of the town’s existing professionals – whether it be attorneys, engineers or other municipal professionals – who have put their financial interests ahead of the taxpayers. 

The Real Bogota Democrats believe that putting taxpayers first means that even our professionals must be good stewards of government – not political pawns to the council majority.  

Transparency In Government

Shining a spotlight on municipal government means making it truly transparent.  

Transparency in government is far more than just a sound bite, it’s a way of thinking, a mindset on how government should operate.  That’s why Tito, Lisa and Ingrid want to essentially make OPRA or the Open Public Records Act moot.  Here’s how: the Real Bogota Democrats want to put every budget, invoice, resolution, minutes and government transaction on-line and at your disposal.  

In order for taxpayers to be truly informed about how they’re government is running, they must have unfiltered access to government records.  With technology evolving on a daily basis, we must leverage and utilize it to give taxpayers the tools they need to make informed decisions, to participate in the conversation – and do it without having to face red tape at Borough Hall.

If elected, Tito, Lisa and Ingrid will hire a vendor to digitize all of the borough’s municipal documents and put them directly on-line and at your fingertips.  However, they don’t just want to put information at your fingertips, they also want to put it in your living rooms.

Tito, Lisa and Ingrid want to televise all council meetings, giving residents a birds eye view on what’s taking place in town.  That’s real change.  That’s real transparency in government  – and that’s what the Real Bogota Democrats plan on delivering. 

Smart Redevelopment

Almost all of us have heard the term “smart growth.”  How about the term “smart redevelopment?”  That’s ok.  However, that’s exactly what we’re doing right here in Bogota.  

Tito, Lisa and Ingrid are turning blighted, non-revenue producing parcels of real estate and turning them into pristine, revenue generating properties.  

With Bogota being landlocked and without any remaining undevelopable space, the future of our community is smart redevelopment.  This is what’s going to sustain and continue to make our community thrive.

The perfect example of the smart redevelopment approach is the project on 297 Palisades Avenue.   Despite the spin, lies and fabrications being tossed around by the council majority, the project on 297 Palisades Avenue is going to improve the appeal of our community and produce real tax revenue.

In it’s first year on the tax maps, this site will produce more than $88,000 in new revenue or $2.6 million for the borough over the next 30 years.  That’s why Tito, Lisa and Ingrid support the project. 

The  primary election will be on Tuesday 3- June with the polls opening at 6:00a and remain open until 8:00p.

Polls are located at the at :
-- For Districts 1& 6 it is the Bogota Recreation Center at 162 W. Main St.
   Districts 1&6 is that part of the Borough located West of the Railroad tracks.

-- For Districts 2&3 it is the Gym of  Bogota High School at 1 Henry Luthin Pl.  please use the door towards the back of the building on the North side of the Building.
  Districts 2& 3  is that part of the Borough located East of the Railroad tracks & North of Beechwood Ave

--  For Districts 4&5 it is  in the Gym of the Roy Bixby School at Maplewood & Fischer Aves.
     Districts 4 &5  is that part of the Borough located East of the Railroad tracks & South of Beechwood Ave.

Ward Dist. Address
1 Bogota Recreation Center - 162 West Main Street
2 Bogota High School Gym - One Henry Luthin Pl. (Left Rear of Bldg)
3 Bogota High School Gym - One Henry Luthin Pl. (Left Rear of Bldg)
4 E. Roy Bixby School Gym. Maplewood& Fischer Aves
5 E. Roy Bixby School Gym. Maplewood & Fischer Aves.
6 Bogota Recreation Center-162 West Main St.

Monday, May 26, 2014


26- May-2014
  On this Memorial Day morning the  Bogota American Legion  Clifford Dunn Post 117, and the  Bogota  VFW Ralph Hall Post 5561 held their Memorial Day  Remembrance service in front of Bogota Borough Hall.  Along with Mayor Tito Jackson and some members of the Borough Council there were Women & Men from the 2nd Marine Air Wing who are in the New York Area for the Fleet Week festivities in New York. The units that were represented are from the VMM-266, HMH, 464, & HMLA-269 who joined in the  morning ceremonies. The Marines were saluted by by VFW Commander Alex Hernandez in his speech about remember the Veterans of  the United States Armed Forces. Cmdr Hernandez also took  the time to thank the Veterans that attended the service for their Service to the Country.  In his speech Cmdr Hernandez also mentioned the debt of  services that many of the Armed Forces gave to the county. What he said was: Each soldier, sailor, marine, and airman before leaving to go to combat wrote a check out to each one of us.  On it, the amount said “in the amount of and up to and beyond my life”.   It was the most costly check they ever wrote.   This is how they paved the way and paid for our freedom.   Please keep them in your prayers, especially on Memorial Day, and remember what our freedom cost, not in money, but in sacrifice.
 American Legion Commander Walter Croft also thanked the Marines for attending, and for the members of the public who came for the communities.  Mayor Tito Jackson welcomed the Marines to Bogota and said how his is proud  that the Borough could  play host to them.
 Then the names of the Bogota Citizens who did not have the opportunity to return home were read allowed as one poppy for each was placed on a cross in front of the Bogota War Monument.  This was done by Mary Wagner & Terry McElory who were assisted by "Poppy Girls" Emma Fowler & Leah Perez.  Next Rebecca Pigoncelli was escorted by Lance Corporals Jonathan Muniz and Brando Parks as she placed a wreath at the POW-MIA Monument. Then after a moment of silence Taps were played by students of the Bogota High School Marching Band.
   Cmdr Croft ended the Service by thanking all who had taken the time to attend.

Reverend  Tim Graff  of St. Joseph Church   with the Innovation

VFW Cmdr Alex Hernandez  leading the Pledge of Allegiance
American Legion Cmdr Walter Croft 
Bogota Mayor Tito Jackson

 The Marines in attendance.

Poppies being place to remember fallen 

Mike Sorrentino lead the procession.

 Lcpl's Muniz & Parks escort Rebecca Pigoncelli

A moment of Silence.

 Pastor Jodi Wu from Bogart Reform Church.

Borough Hall

 The wreath at the POW-MIA monument.