Holmdel, NJ (April 20, 2016) – The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial will hold a Remembrance Day Ceremony May 7, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ, Exit 116 off the Garden State Parkway. Marie Liston, the sister of a WWII Navy Seaman who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, will accept a medal on her brother’s behalf.
Neil Lucey was just 18-years-old when he joined the United States Navy. He reported for duty March 12, 1940. Just 19 months later he would lose his life at Pearl Harbor, two days after his 20th birthday. His body is one of 1,177 entombed in the USS Arizona.
Now, 75 years later, Neil’s sister will accept a medal on his behalf during a Remembrance Day ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation on May 7, 2016.
Marie Lucey Liston is 101 and lives in Brick, NJ. She was born in 1914 in New York City and is the oldest of five children. Her mother died in childbirth in 1924 and the siblings were sent to live with relatives in Perth Amboy. Their father, Timothy Lucey, worked for the railroad and would visit when he could.
The death of Neil, who was nicknamed “Buddy,” was hard on the family. The first communication from the US Navy came on December 20, 1941, and informed the family that Neil was missing in action while the search for survivors at Pearl Harbor continued. The official death notice came on January 30, 1942 when it was determined that Neil had been one of those lost on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
He was awarded a Purple Heart posthumously for his valiant service as a Seaman First Class with the Navy.
Neil was the first person killed in action from Perth Amboy in WWII. The city dedicated a park in his name and the park was renovated and rededicated in 2000.
Gordon Pingicer is on the board of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation, and is Marie’s son-in-law.
“This medal means so much to the family,” Gordon said. “Just the recognition that New Jersey gives to people who served is very significant.”
Remembrance Day was created by legislation in 1991 as a day in New Jersey to honor those who served in the military during the Vietnam War from 1959 to 1975. More than 200,000 New Jersey residents served in the armed forces during that time.
Visit www.njvvmf.org for more information.