Monday, May 15, 2017
Atlantic County will honor the memories of its fallen military heroes on Friday, May 26 at 2 PM during the 33rd annual Veterans Memorial Program to be held at the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery located in the county park, Route 50, Estell Manor.
The program will feature the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Color Guard, the Atlantic County Corrections Officers’ Honor Guard; the Atlantic City Fire Department Sandpipers’ Pipes and Drums, a bugler and the presentation of the memorial wreath.
“It is our tradition to begin each Memorial Day weekend with this special tribute to our fallen military heroes,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “As President John F. Kennedy once said, ‘A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.’ In Atlantic County we proudly remember.”
Assemblyman Chris A. Brown, a lifelong Atlantic County resident and decorated combat veteran, will deliver the keynote address. Brown’s military career spans two decades, including service in the Persian Gulf War as part of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm for which he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge. As Commander of the 154th S&S Battalion, he was recognized as the outstanding Company Grade Army Officer by the New Jersey National Guard Association. Brown was activated for war a second time, in 2008, to serve in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, temporarily leaving behind his wife and three small children. He was honorably discharged in 2009 with the rank of Major.
Brown is a graduate of Holy Spirit High School, Rutgers University and Widener School of Law. He previously served as a prosecutor and an assistant solicitor in Egg Harbor Township and as the judge for the Municipal Court of Galloway Township. He was first elected to represent the Second Legislative District in the General Assembly in November 2011.
He has received military and civilian awards, decorations and honors such as the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, among many others.
In preparation for the May 26 ceremony, several local scout troops will place American flags at the more than 4,400 gravesites located within the veterans cemetery on Wednesday, May 24 (rain date: Thursday, May 25). Scouts who perform this task on at least two of three annual occasions are eligible to receive the Atlantic County Patriotism patch in recognition of their service to veterans.
The Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery was officially dedicated in May,1985 to provide a final resting place for military veterans and their spouses. The cemetery was expanded in 2014 to accommodate an additional 650 plots with more property set aside for future expansion.