Monday, May 14, 2018
Atlantic County will honor the memories of its fallen military heroes on Friday, May 25 at 2 PM during the 34th annual Veterans Memorial Program to be held at the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery located in the county park, Route 50, Estell Manor.
“It is our tradition to begin each Memorial Day weekend with this special tribute to our fallen military heroes,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. This holiday is especially important because as Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: ‘Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.’ In Atlantic County we will not forget nor take for granted the extreme sacrifice of generations of men and women who have bravely served our country.”
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.
Mays Landing resident Michael D. Schenck, Master Gunnery Sergeant in the US Marine Corps Reserves and a member of the Atlantic County Veterans Advisory Board, will provide the keynote address. Schenck currently serves as a Senior Inspector for the USMCR in New Orleans where he helps to ensure the highest level of readiness, discipline and integrity through objective internal analysis of the management, operation and conduct of the USMCR. He is also an adjunct professor at Cumberland County College and a former high school social studies teacher.
Schenck previously served as a Section Chief, Team Chief, Military to Military Chief and Innovative Readiness Training Chief in the USMCR and has earned numerous military honors and awards including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon.
He attained his BA in Political Science from Stockton University, his Master of Education from Wilmington University, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.
In preparation for the May 25 ceremony, several local scout troops will place American flags at approximately 5,300 gravesites located within the veterans cemetery on Wednesday, May 23 (rain date: Thursday, May 24). 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.