Remembering, Honoring, Teaching.
December 11, 2019
What an amazing event and honor on 12.11.19 for Montgomery to again host the "Wreaths Across America" Convoy on its way from Washington County, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia on 12-14-19 to place wreaths upon the headstones of veterans.
Welcoming the Convoy again this year outside the Montgomery Upper Middle School was a spectacular display of 100 full-size flags honoring national and local heroes - from veterans to emergency services squads, firefighters, and police officers. The display was part of the Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill's Flags for Heroes Program. Also greeting the Convoy as it arrived were UMS Principal Cory Delgado, staff, students, and many local residents.
A warm welcome inside would follow comprised of many from the UMS Community, other school teams and clubs, Montgomery Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and many veteran groups, residents and visitors - too many to mention them all. Convoy escorts included American Gold Star Mothers and Families, Blue Star Families, Gold Star Wives of America, veterans and Wreath Across America volunteers. Patriot Guard Riders, Patriot Riders of America and Rolling Thunder flanked the escort along with Maine law enforcement officers. Mayor Sadaf Jaffer made welcoming comments and Senator Kip Bateman, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, and others in attendance, were acknowledged.
Montgomery Township Resident and Gold Star Wife Laura Mclnerny and Mother-In-Law Pat Mackin spoke on behalf of Navy Lt. Michael M. McGreevy, and daughter Molly, a current student at MHS, received a wreath honoring her father who was Killed-In-Action during Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan.)
Rolling Thunder Jr. Member Alivia DeHart-Muller, granddaughter of Rolling Thunder Founder Artie Muller, also spoke.
Army Veteran, singer, songwriter and philanthropist Rockie Lynne, founder of the NOP, "Tribute to the Troops," again performed his program "FOR THE LOVER OF COUNTRY: A SALUTE TO WHAT MAKES AMERICA GREAT." A special song, "Thank You" especially honored Vietnam Vets, who were greeted at the stage with hugs from many members of the audience.
Wreaths were presented honoring our namesake, General Richard Montgomery, all eight Purple Heart Soldiers from Montgomery who were Killed-In-Action since the Revolutionary War, and to Peter Niemiec, Director of Somerset County Veteran Services, on behalf of all Somerset County Veterans.
The Convoy then continued on and ultimately arrived at Arlington Nation Cemetery in the early morning hours of Saturday December 14th - National Wreaths Across America Day - where over 300,000 wreaths were placed. Nationwide, 2.2 million sponsored wreaths were placed by nearly 3 million volunteers.
To learn more about Wreaths Across America or the event, go to: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
Locally, following the event on December 11th - The Eight Awarded Wreaths for Montgomery's KIA - were placed at the respective pillar as named.
Placing a wreath from Wreaths Across America at the Somerset County Administration Building in Somerville are (left to right) Deborah Rano of the county Veterans Services Office; Freeholder Sara Sooy; Veterans Services Director Peter Niemiec; Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia Walsh; Dom Ragno, RWJ Somerset’s veterans liaison; veterans Anthony Del Rocco and Ted Dima, members of Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 27; Freeholder Shanel Y. Robinson; Veterans Services Officer Elizabeth Haluszczak; and Joseph Kordzikowski of the MOPH Chapter 27. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders)
Freeholders, veterans place wreath in Somerville
Members of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders were recently joined by local veterans in placing a wreath at the county administration building, next to Veterans Memorial Plaza on Grove Street in Somerville. In attendance were Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia L. Walsh, Freeholder Shanel Y. Robinson and Freeholder Sara Sooy; Anthony Del Rocco, Ted Dima and Joseph Kordzikowski, members of Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 27; Vietnam veteran Dom Ragno, RWJ Somerset’s veterans liaison; and county Veterans Services Director Peter Niemiec and his staff. The wreath had been presented to the county Office of Veterans Services as part of the Wreaths Across America ceremony held in Montgomery Township. Visit www.co.somerset.nj.us.
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