NJ Department of Military & Veterans AffairsNJ Veteran Journal - Spring 2006 Edition
NJ Veteran Journal

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Vietnam Remembrance Day 2006
By Sibley Smith, New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Era Education Center

Vietnam Remembrance Day 2006
Chapter 800 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the North Jersey Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, & Boy Scout Troop 155 of Freehold posted the colors at the Remembrance Day Ceremony. Photo courtesy NJ Vietnam Veterans Era Education Center.

Since 1991 the state has set aside a day to honor all those from New Jersey who served in the military during the Vietnam Era, from 1959 to 1975, when more than 200,000 New Jersey residents served.

On May 7, the New Jersey Vietnam Veteransí Memorial Foundation, with assistance from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, held its annual New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veteransí Memorial in Holmdel.

Approximately 400 people attended the commemorative event, which was held in the Memorialís courtyard, surrounded by the circular, black granite wall bearing the names of 1,560 New Jerseyans whose lives were lost in the Vietnam War.

The ceremony began with a welcome address by Beverly Fedorko-Ott, President of the New Jersey Vietnam Veteransí Memorial Foundation. The colors were posted by three color guard units, Chapter 800 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the North Jersey Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, and Boy Scout Troop 155 of Freehold. The invocation was given by Joseph Formola, Chaplain of the New Jersey State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Remarks were given by Congressman Scott Garrett (R., 5th District), Director of Veteran Services Gary Englert (NJ-DMVA), and New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine. Wreaths were placed accompanied by music played on bagpipes by Bernie Snyder of Forked River.

John F. McCourt, Director, Regional Office, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), served as the keynote speaker. McCourt served in the Army from August 1967 until March 1969, including a 14-month tour of duty in Vietnam. His awards and decorations include the Combat Infantrymanís Badge, a Bronze Star for meritorious service, and a Bronze Star for Valor. He began his career with the VA in 1973 and was named the Director of the Newark Regional Office in 2003.

It was announced that the New Jersey Vietnam Veteransí Memorial Foundation recently added three more names to the New Jersey Vietnam Veteransí Memorial, bringing the total of 1,560.

First Lieutenant Harold L. Cheadle Jr. of Millburn served with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. He was killed in action on August 23, 1968 in Quang Tri. Second Lieutenant Robert H. Crum, Jr. of Essex Fells served with the 1st Cavalry Divisionís 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry and was killed in action on May 22, 1966 near Binh Dinh Province.

Private First Class Douglas J. Weiss of Upper Saddle River served with the 1st Cavalry Divisionís 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. He was killed in action on May 6, 1966 near Bong Son.

These names were added to the Memorial after the Foundation was informed that the serviceman had connections to New Jersey, but their military records did not list the state as the home of record.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veteransí Memorial and the Vietnam Era Educational Center are located on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center, at Exit 116 on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel. The Memorial is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Educational Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Regular admission to the Center is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Regular adult admission is $4; student and senior citizen admission is $2 and children under 10 are admitted free.