njvvmf vet day 2016 2Honors the Service of U.S. Military Service Members

Holmdel, NJ - Hundreds of veterans, their family and friends gathered together on Friday, November 11th, at the Veterans Day ceremony, hosted by the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF). Under a bright sun and clear blue skies, Bill Linderman, Director of the Foundation and Bob Briant, Jr., emcee and Foundation Trustee, welcomed attendees and introduced the guest speakers, including Monmouth County Freeholder, John Curley and keynote speaker, Steve Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City.

njvvmf vet day 2016 1Fulop’s career includes serving three years in the U.S. Marine Corps after witnessing the devastation wrought in Manhattan on 9/11. He spoke without notes about is own experience as a service member and what it means to him to be counted a United States Veteran:

“Thanks to you, I am who I am today. My service was my way of following your example and is the best way I could ever pay my debt to you. Your sacrifice helped make sure I had all the chances I did to become who I am, a better person — to enjoy the life I do with my family and friends. Thank you.”

njvvmf vet day 2016 3The Foundation’s “In Memory” program presented posthumous awards to five New Jersey Veterans who survived their tours of duty in Vietnam but later died prematurely as a result of their service. Leonard Muller from the Vietnam Veterans Association, Chapter 200, escorted family members as they placed a candle near the central sculpture in honor of their loved ones: Ralph De Julia, Saddlebrook; Richard Hatem, Wall;, Richard Tuttle, Elizabeth; Martin Vaccaro, Allenhurst; and Robert Vecchio, Hillsborough.

njvvmf vet day 2016 4The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation is a not-for-profit organization responsible for the stewardship of the memorial and the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center. More information about the Foundation, the monument and the Education Center can be found at: www.njvvmf.org.