BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - The annual Field of Honor display at the Bernards Township municipal building was officially dedicated at noon on Sunday, with 125 American flags unfurling on an exceptionally windy November day. Many state and township officials were present, as well as veterans, other members of the public, and U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance (R-Dist. 7).
The display will remain up through Nov. 16, following Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Many of the flags were sponsored by members of the community in honor of specific veterans, The donations from those sponsors will be used to provide services for veterans through Community Hope's Hope for Veterans Programs at the Lyons Veterans Administration Campus in Bernards Township.
"We often get complacent about what our veterans have provided for us," J. Michael Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer for Community Hope, said during the dedication. He said the very act of choosing to assemble on Sunday was a right preserved by veterans.
This year, for the first time, the display originally conceived of by the Bernards Township Beautification Committee was handled by the Bernards Township Departments of Parks and Recreation. Donations were made directly to Community Hope, and are still being accepted, said Jennifer Gander, director for parks and recreation.
More information is on the Bernards Township website.
During the ceremony, Joseph Bennett, district commander of the Somerset County VFW, announced that the VFW post also was donating $1,500 to the homeless veterans program being operated by Community Hope. Bennett said the funds had been raised by the veterans' sale of poppies earlier this year.
Armstrong also reminded those present to vote in Tuesday's election. He said the right to vote is "a right that too many of us squander."