PFC. RANDALL M. CARLTON MEMORIAL
PFC Randall M. Carlton U.S.M.C.
Randy was the only soldier killed in action in South Vietnam who attended Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan, New Jersey. He enrolled in the Marine Corps in the summer of 1968. After completing basic training in December of that year, Randy was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines of the 3rd Marine Division and sent to Vietnam. Randy was killed on February 21, 1969 when his patrol was ambushed in the A Shau Valley in Quang Tri Province.
A rededication ceremony was held on May 19, 2001 (Armed Forces Day) at 11 am at the Harrington Park Borough Hall. A refurbished memorial was unveiled before a large crowd. A U.S. Marine Corps Honor officer played taps and there was a 21 gun salute by the Hackensack Police Honor Guard.
A plaque memorializing Randy was left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on Memorial Day, 2001 by the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club. Each year, the Nam Knights go to The Wall on Memorial Day to remember their friends who did not make it home. They leave a plaque in memory of one of them. In 2001, they did it for Randy.
On November 10, 2001 a new plaque was dedicated at the Emerson Country Club in Emerson, New Jersey. Randy's father had been a member of the club at the time of Randy's death, and a flag pole was dedicated in his honor.
A large number of Marines turned out for the event, greeting each other with, "happy birthday". November 10, 2001 was the 226th Birthday of the founding of the United States Marines. In addition to a color guard, the Marines provided a flag detail, a 21 gun salute, and the playing of taps. In a traditional ending for the ceremony, the Marine Corps Hymn was played on bag pipes that went off into the distance. The Marine Corps League Gooney Bird Detachment was out in force to pay tribute to their fellow Marine.
Both services were organized by Sgt. Richard Mottley of the Emerson Police Department.