BEDMINSTER TWP., NJ - The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum will welcome active duty military families, veterans, local officials and area residents to Bedminster's third annual Field of Honor and Community Picnic from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, July 8, at the historic property at 3055 River Road in Bedminster, off Route 206 south.

The display will feature 200 American flags, measuring 3’ x 5’, and standing 7 feet tall. The flags, which have been purchased by individuals, are tagged with personal messages, honoring loved ones and those who have served our country.

The first American flag to fly at the historic site had 13 stars for the original 13 colonies--now the flags are being flown again with the history of the United States reflected in the number of stars.

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Music to be provided by Hoi Polloi

Live musical entertainment will be provided by the popular New Jersey band Hoi Polloi, which traditionally also appears each year at Charter Day in nearby Bernards Township. There will be activities for children and tours of the museum throughout the day.

Admission is free, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. The event, which also includes free admission to the museum itself, is also a local Independence Day celebration.

The event, sponsored by Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Trump National Golf Club, Dunkin Donuts, and Ferriero Engineering, will benefit the non-profit Friends' capital campaign to raise a 19th century Dutch barn on the grounds of the Vanderveer House property. 

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum have been responsible for the long-term project to restore the once-crumbling home, and to create a "living history" museum where events such as Colonial Christmas and activities such as a history camp are held throughout the year. The Youth Archeology camp offers participants a unique opportunity to explore and investigate the world of archaeology as it relates to local history dating back to the American Revolution, and is scheduled this year for July 23 to 27.

Information on the historic location and its history as an important part of the Revolutionary War _ as well as information on the camp and other events through the year _ are online.

When General Henry Knox made the Jacobus [pronounced Ja-KO-bus] Vanderveer House his home and headquarters during the winter of 1778-79, he proudly flew a flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes. Today, 13 stars have grown into 50, and one flag flying over his headquarters has grown into a field of 200, honoring modern heroes. 

Now, active duty military families, veterans, local officials and residents--from Bedminster and beyond--are joining together to honor our nation's servicemen and women.  And to the salute the distinguished General who commanded the nation's first military academy less than a mile away, during our nation's fight for independence. 

For more information about The Field of Honor and The Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.

The Field of Honor program is part of a national movement that started out as a way to commemorate the lives lost in the World Trade Center attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, which strongly impacted many lives in the Somerset Hills community. In just a short amount of time, the concept has grown and communities across America are hosting Field of Honor tributes to raise money and awareness for a growing array of causes. The Field of Honor is a community project of remembrance, and an expression of humanity and patriotism.

-- with Linda Sadlouskos