Spring 2009 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

New Jersey Honors Greatest Generation
Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA

Vineland honors volunteers

In an event unprecedented in its scope, New Jersey honored more than half million of its citizens at the dedication ceremony of the New Jersey World War II Memorial at Veterans Park located across the street from the State House on Nov. 11, 2008.

More than 1,900 people braved frigid temperatures in the shadow of the Capital building to watch as a red, white and blue banner emblazoned with the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team crest and signed by the 50th’s Soldiers was lowered by Governor Jon S. Corzine and the Adjutant General of New Jersey, Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, revealing the statue Lady Victory, the Memorial’s centerpiece.

"You have taught all of us who continue to wear the uniform about humility, perseverance, and the love of our nation,” said Maj. Gen. Rieth. “I stand beside you today in admiration of all that you have accomplished throughout your lives. Each of you is an American Hero.”

New Jersey is estimated to have contributed more than 560,000 men and women to the armed forces, including 16 Medal of Honor recipients. An estimated 89,000 World War II veterans still live in New Jersey. 

“As a proud New Jerseyan, a former Marine, and as a child of that Greatest Generation, I believed that our salute should not just be expressed in words and sentiments alone,” Governor Corzine said. “It had to be solidified in granite and stone for eternity, to show all future generations what New Jersey World War vets did for this state and the country.”

The $7.6 million memorial is comprised of 3,000 pieces of granite, a one-ton statue of Lady Victory, and a half-ton statue of The Lone Soldier, which were designed by sculptor Thomas Jay Warren, who previously

A veteran gazes on one of the four storyboard panels at the New Jersey World War II Memorial at Veterans Park.
sculpted the centerpiece for the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the New Jersey Korean War Veterans Memorial. Groundbreaking occurred on March 15, 2008, with DHM Design Firm and Neshaminy Construction Inc., responsible for construction.

"It is especially fitting that we hold this ceremony on Veterans Day, recognizing service members living and dead who safeguarded this nation so our children and grandchildren can live in freedom." Governor Jon S. Corzine

Arthur Seltzer (left), 4th Signal Battalion, U.S. Army, holds up a dollar bill that was signed by the Soldiers on his Higgins Boat (landing craft) on D-Day as Governor Jon S. Corzine (center) and Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth (right) The Adjutant General watch.

Three generations of servicemen (l-r): World War II veteran Vito Tango, U.S. Navy; his son Maj. Jonathon Tango, New Jersey Army National Guard and grandson Danny Silvester, U.S. Coast Guard perform the Two Bell ceremony to honor the fallen.

Among the keynote speakers were World War II veterans’ Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Army Signal Corps; former Governor Brendan T. Byrne, 15th Air Force, Army Air Forces; Tuskegee Airman Dr. Leslie Hayling and Leonard Lomell, 2nd Ranger Battalion.

Lomell occupies a special place in the history of World War II. In Stephen Ambrose’s book “D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II”, Lomell is recognized as the single individual — other than Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower — most responsible for the success of D-Day. Lomell discovered and disabled the five 155-millimeter coastal artillery guns at Pointe du Hoc, which could have reached the troops landing on Omaha and Utah Beaches endangering the entire invasion process.

The Memorial will serve as a fitting remembrance to honor the Greatest Generation and the New Jerseyans who made the ultimate sacrifice to save the world from tyranny.

Anna M. Hoffman (left), Women’s Army Corps, and Tuskegee Airman George Watson Sr. (right), 366th Air Service Group, U.S. Army Air Corps, perform the Pledge of Allegiance.

New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers render a rifle salute.