MORRISTOWN, NJ – On the lawn of the Morristown Court House, military veterans from across Morris County, and representing a host of military conflicts from World War II and Vietnam to Operation Iraqi Freedom, were honored today at Morris County’s 2017 Memorial Day ceremony.
The ceremony began with Bagpipes played by Detective Matt Potter and Captain Robert McNally of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office followed by the Marine Corps Honor Guard.
“We in Morris County honor those Americans who have served in the armed forces and honor those Americans who have given their lives while serving,’’ Freeholder Director Doug Cabana said. “President Harry Truman once said, ‘our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.’’’
Eight Morris County residents were honored for their service to our nation during the ceremony and presented with the Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medal. One of the honorees at the 2017 ceremony was Louis Bodian of Morristown who served in the U.S. Army from 1969- 1971. Bodian along with George Briscoe (Budd Lake), Loris Clarke (Kenvil), Eugene Lemoncelli (Dover), Kenneth Gorman (Mount Hope), Christopher Orr (Wharton), Paul Vico (Morris Plains) and John McDermott (Denville) were honored.
Since the program’s inception in 2000, nearly 10,000 medals have been presented to veterans or their family members. The Medal is unique to Morris County and features the county seal encircled with the words, “Morris County Distinguished Military Service,” on the front. An outline of the county and the American flag is on the back of the medal, along with the words, “Morris County Freeholders Military Commemorative.” Each medal’s striped ribbon is the color of the specific conflict during which the veteran served.
After the presentation of awards and wreath placement, the ceremony concluded with a 21 gun salute by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Color Guard, a playing of Taps by Larry Shillings, Amazing Grace by Detective Potter and Captain McNally followed by God Bless America, sung by the Lakeview Select Chorus from Denville.