A Letter from Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Chris Rodriquez and the Lt. Governor at the Interfaith Advisory Council Meeting, March 2017

On Memorial Day weekend across this Great State – from town squares to memorial grounds – from moments of quiet reflection to parades down city streets – New Jerseyans paid tribute to all those who have put on the uniform, served far from home, and braved the line of fire to preserve the liberties we hold dear. 

On May 27, I joined the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to honor our fallen soldiers at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown – New Jersey’s sole State-operated veterans’ cemetery.  As I noted in solemn tribute, we gathered “to honor and support all those that sacrificed, to affirm the respect of a grateful State and Nation, to feel the depth of sacrifice of generations of brave veterans, and to stand together as one State and as one people to appreciate a debt we can never fully repay.”  We also gathered, as always, to remember the nearly 70,000 New Jerseyans who lie at rest among Doyle Cemetery’s 234 picturesque acres – heroes and patriots, many of which gave their last full measure of devotion in the darkness of war so we could stand there in the glory of spring.

For so many New Jerseyan’s, the glory of the spring is represented by the “unofficial” start of summer at the shore.  During remarks outside the Wildwood Convention Center on May 26, shortly before unlocking the ocean to kick off the start of the summer tourism season, I recognized the long and proud history of New Jersey military heroism, including the 1,563 New Jerseyans etched into the Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Wall in Fox Park, which I visited shortly after the ceremony.

As a Blue Star mom with a son flying F-16’s in the Air Force, supporting our military and our veterans is very personal to me.  While only 1 percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, 100 percent of New Jerseyans benefit from that 1 percent.  It’s a priority for all of us to never forget to take care of those who’ve taken care of us. 

On June 2, I also had the honor to address the State Convention of the Elks in Wildwood.  I was pleased to recognize the State’s Leadership team, including Mr. Malcolm McPherson from Lodge No. 1505 in Lyndhurst, who will become the next Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in July, and lead the organization’s nearly one million members and 2000 lodges nationwide.  A distinction previously bestowed on only 4 New Jerseyans since the position was established nearly a century and a half ago.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks demonstrate how compassion is their passion – every single day.  The Orders’ important work all across this State – from Camp Moore – to Haskell – to Somerville – helps countless children, and provides one of the greatest blessings in life – putting a smile on the face of a child.  The Elks also honor our over 400,000 veterans living here in New Jersey with a distinct pledge, “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”

So as we begin another great season at the shore, and as we project a record 100 million visitors to visit New Jersey this year, let us never forget the sacrifice of generations of brave New Jerseyans to ensure the freedoms we hold so dear.  For us, the living, those of us who still have a voice, it is our responsibility and obligation to fill that silence with our love, support and gratitude – and not just with our words – but with our actions.  In the spirit of the Elks’ pledge, let us remember our veterans and our “absent members” by keeping the lesson of their lives with us and support each and every effort to honor their service --- service that makes our State and our Nation stand stronger and prouder. 


Kim Guadagno
Lt. Governor

Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Chris Rodriquez and the Lt. Governor at the Interfaith Advisory Council Meeting, March 2017
Lt. Governor with Rabbi Avi Richler, Executive Director, Chabad of Gloucester County and Rabbi Hersh Loschak, Director of the Chabad @ Rowan and Chris Rodriquez
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff attend the State Memorial Day Ceremony at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Wrightstown.

The Lt. Governor with Rabbi Avi Richler, Executive Director, Chabad of Gloucester County and Chris Rodriquez
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno joins New Jersey State Elks Association members and leadership for their annual Wildwood Reunion at Wildwoods Convention Center. The Lt. Governor praises the New Jersey Elks' charitable focus and continued commitment to patriotism, drug awareness, youth and veterans issues.

The Lt. Governor with Rabbi Avi Richler, Executive Director, Chabad of Gloucester County and Chris Rodriquez
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno at the Wildwoods Vietnam Remembrance Wall.



 

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