NORTH HANOVER, N.J. – Several thousand New Jersey residents and visitors began their Memorial Day weekend not with a backyard barbecue or day at the beach, but instead by paying tribute to fallen service men and women during a ceremony May 24 at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery here.
The official party for the event included New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, U.S. Congressman Jon Runyan, representative for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, the adjutant general of New Jersey, and Raymond Zawacki, New Jersey deputy commissioner for veterans affairs.
“Memorial Day is a somber reminder of the 1.3 million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have given their lives in service to this country throughout our nation’s history,” said Maj. Gen. Margaret W. Boor, commanding general of the Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command, who presented one of nearly two-dozen memorial wreaths from various military and civic organizations that highlighted the ceremony.
“This is particularly important to us in the 99th RSC, because we’re presenting this wreath with one of our Gold Star families,” she said. “It brings that sacrifice of our lives to our country even closer to home.”
“My brother, Samson, passed away in Afghanistan on July 10, 2008,” said Lt. Col. Michael Mora, who works for the 99th RSC’s Directorate of Public Works and accompanied Boor during the wreath presentation. “It’s really dear to my heart being here; it’s a very honorable thing to do for our fallen heroes and for their family members.”
Also presenting a wreath were representatives from Survivor Outreach Services of the 99th RSC and Army Support Activity-Dix.
“It’s important for us to be out here today because when we present the wreath, the survivors and also the community partners who are here can see the military supporting survivors,” explained Julie Kennedy, an H & W Enterprises employee who serves as support coordinator for SOS, 99th RSC.
“It’s always important to take time on Memorial Day to remember all who have fallen,” added Sue Mullen, support coordinator for SOS, ASA-DIX.