Government

Updating Roxbury Veterans Memorial is College Student's 'Most Meaningful Thing'

Jacob Rosenstein
Jacob Rosenstein, standing, addresses Roxbury Mayor and Council

ROXBURY, NJ - A 19-year-old college student, whose research will improve the completeness and accuracy of the Roxbury Veterans Memorial at Horseshoe Lake Park, said the project was “the most meaningful thing” he’s ever done.

The student, Jacob Rosenstein, is back at Bentley University now. But he will return to town Oct. 7 when the fruits of his labor are revealed at a special ceremony at the memorial.

Working as an intern in Roxbury town hall, Rosenstein spent the summer diving deep into research about Roxbury war veterans. The goal: To ensure that the memorial not only contain all the names of veterans who should be there but also that the spellings of the names currently there are all correct.

Sign Up for E-News

“Someone had inquired about the process of adding names to the plaques via Mayor (Mark) Crowley and because he was unsure he had (Roxbury Township Manager) John Shepherd task me with figuring out the process,” said Rosenstein.

The man who used to coordinate the plaques, Ed Kirchgessner, died. So Rosenstein “was tasked with organizing the engraving as well as finding names and misspellings to correct,” he said.

Rosenstein, a Morris County School of Technology graduate now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting, dove into the project with gusto and found himself involved in a job that was as rewarding as it was difficult, he said.

“I took a look into the old files from five to 10 years ago and found that there were about two dozen veteran request forms to be added to the memorial plaques,” Rosenstein said. “I found the criteria to be added to the plaques and reached out to each veteran, verifying their service and notifying them that their names were going to be added.”

Some of the interactions stemming from the work were pretty special, said the young man. He pointed to Roxbury resident Judy Casey, who has five family members whose names are going to be added to the memorial.

“Ms. Casey has been in the Morris County/Roxbury area since the Revolutionary War and it is truly amazing to be able to add generations of her family to these plaques,” Rosenstein said.

He noted that veterans or their family members needed to verify eligibility for inclusion on the plaques. “They had to submit their DD214 (discharge papers) and prove they were a Roxbury resident at time of enlistment and served during a time of conflict,” Rosenstein said.

He noted that four of the five discharge papers needed to verify Casey’s relatives were lost due to a fire. “So I had to track down and get as much information as I could from several sources such as Veteran Affairs, the National Archives in D.C., and even look to see if they had military headstones at their graves,” Rosenstein said.

Another memorable interaction came with a resident whose son’s birthday is approaching. He said the woman wants to surprise her son on his birthday by having his name added to the memorial.

“When I spoke to each veteran they were very glad to know they were being honored with their name on a plaque,” Rosenstein said. He said he found about four misspellings on the plaques, prompting him to contact the engraver - to fix the mistakes - as well as the involved veterans and families to notify them of the forthcoming changes. 

“Jacob did a great job coordinating this effort,” Shepherd said. “It started with a few inquiries we had received concerning adding/correcting names to the various war memorial plaques.  Jacob researched township records and spoke with various township staff until we had a handle on how to address these inquiries.”

The manager said Rosenstein contacted Mark Beesley of MB Manufacturing Inc. about engraving some new names and correcting spellings on the existing plaques. “Mark and his company were gracious enough to take on this project and do it at no cost since the project honors veterans,” he said.

Rosenstein has been involved in other community-minded organizations and activities, including the Key Club and Habitat for Humanity. But the Roxbury veteran project touched him deeper than anything else, he said.

“This is definitely the most meaningful thing I have worked on in my life,” Rosenstein said. “To know that I have played some part in honoring veterans who risked their lives daily to protect us means everything. To some, these plaques might just be metal with names … honoring veterans. But to me it is a daily reminder that there are always those willing to step into the danger headfirst and say, ‘I'm ready to serve.’”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Roxbury

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2222877ebaa21f7209a6_e46d8c1ec45038fb8c78_lhf_lake_loop_2015_paddling_board_participants

Sun, September 24, 7:00 AM

Hopatcong State Park, Landing

Fifth Annual “LHF Lake Loop”

Giving Back Health & Wellness Sports

Carousel_image_11b9896e4d9a6ee24692_mini_magick20170920-17746-17w5gwq

Mon, September 25, 6:30 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

Fall Gardening

Education Home & Garden

Carousel_image_0c8f58b67219cb6d4732_rhonda_denet_photo

Thu, September 28, 7:00 PM

Roxbury Public Library, Succasunna

From Jazz to Soul-Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_9b26215a17d8cfd429e8_shipyard_bowling_ball

Wed, October 11, 7:00 PM

Ledgewood

Shipyard Tap Takeover

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_5b883c81194468911348_marshall-crenshaw-photo

Sat, October 14, 8:00 PM

Investors Bank Theater, Succasunna

Marshall Crenshaw

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_64faa5b81ac835dbec1e_f93ce7aa5f57a069b001_homeholid2017

Sat, December 2, 11:00 AM

Main Street, Succasunna, Succasunna

Home for the Holidays

Arts & Entertainment

Found Cat! Randolph Tennis Center on Sussex Tpk.

September 11, 2017

Is this your cat?  

Found Sept. 9 at Randolph Tennis Center.  

Please call 973-543-9333 with any information. 

 Very friendly! Neutered male.

JCP&L Provide Support Across the Companies Service Area

JCP&L linemen and support personnel are among a large group of linemen, damage accessors, electrical contractors, forestry crews and support personnel from FirstEnergy Corp. utilities  that have mobilized to help utilities in Florida with restoration efforts as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Getting it Right From the Start; Roxbury Realtor Bob Idakaar

ROXBURY, NJ – Twenty years ago this month, Bob Idakaar experienced an unprofessional real estate agent. That’s when he decided to be a good one.

Idakaar, a lifelong Succasunna resident and TAPinto Roxbury sponsor, bought his fifth home in July 1997. A big event, one that could have been joyous, ended up being stressful and unenjoyable.

“I had a bad experience,” he ...

Rozella Clyde for Morris County Freeholder

September 12, 2017

Rozella Clyde is a lifelong learner and a professional educator running for the Morris County freeholder seat being vacated by Hank Lyon in 2017. 

Clyde’s passion for the land is anchored in her Western Pennsylvania rural roots. Growing up on a small dairy and poultry farm inspired in her a love for nature, and passion for the preservation of open space, protection of our natural ...

Cyberbullying – Often a Devastating Form of Child Abuse

September 12, 2017

Cyberbullying – Often a Devastating Form of Child Abuse

Deirdre’s House Urges Parents to Have Important Discussions With Their Children to Prevent Cyberbullying

With the new school year now in session, Deirdre’s House (www.deirdreshouse.org), which is The Center for Morris County’s child victims, urges parents to talk to their children about the damaging effects of ...