Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff will give his remarks and Columnist Carl J. Asszony will be speaking at the powerful ceremony

Holmdel​, ​ New​ ​Jersey​​​ ​–​ The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Foundation will hold its annual POW/MIA Gold Star Mothers Recognition Day Ceremony on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ, on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center. The ceremony will honor America’s prisoners of war, those missing in action, those returned and those still unaccounted for from our nation’s wars. American Gold Star Mothers will also be honored.

Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, Adjutant General of New Jersey, will give his remarks and Columnist Carl J. Asszony will be speaking at the ceremony.

General Cunniff commands more than 9,000 Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. He directs, controls and manages the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in the execution of federal and state missions. He also manages all state veterans' programs, commissions and facilities in New Jersey.

Carl J. Asszony is columnist for Gannett newspapers including The Courier Post, Home News Tribune, Daily Record and The Asbury Park Press. He is also the former radio program host of “The Veterans’ Round Table.”

Carl is a Korean War Veteran and a member of The American Legion, VFW, AMVETS, the Korean War Veterans and the Air Communications and Air Traffic Controllers Association. He is also a member of the Veterans Advisory Council at the VA Lyons Medical Center. For his efforts in veterans’ causes, he has received The Four Chaplains’ Legion of Honor Award as well as other awards from veterans’ organizations.

Since the Reagan Administration, the third Friday in September has been set aside as a national day to remember those veterans who are still missing and those who were held prisoners of war. 

As of August 2017, 1,604 American servicemen and civilians remain unaccounted for from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation updates each New Jersey MIA’s status as the remains are confirmed. The search continues in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, even today. 

The second group honored at the Ceremony is the American Gold Star Mothers. The Gold Star Mothers Organization dates back to 1928 and is a congressionally chartered organization. American Gold Star Mothers Day was first proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 and is nationally recognized on the last Sunday of September.

The POW/MIA Gold Star Mothers Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Memorial and is open to the public. Peter Ragan, a Trustee of the Foundation, will lead the ceremony and the color guard will be from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 12. Chaplain Joe Formola will give the invocation and benediction. Wreaths will be laid at the Memorial by various organizations.