Parsippany, NJ -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) joined with the community yesterday morning at Picatinny Arsenal to honor fallen soldier Sergeant Michael D. Kirspel, Jr., of Hopatcong, New Jersey. Picatinny Arsenal unveiled the plaque dedicating the Ballistic Evaluation Center in Sgt. Kirspel’s name.
Sgt. Kirspel joined the U.S. Army during his senior year at Hopatcong High School. He was a Cannon Crewmember attached to the 101st Airborne and the 10th Mountain Division, and served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Sergeant Kirspel was killed in action at the age of 23 from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan on October 27, 2010. Sgt. Kirspel was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal for his service.
Representative Sherrill’s Remarks Below:
Thank you Executive Director Castellano.
Thank you Brigadier General Abramson, Brigadier General Chrystal, Director Hedderich, Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space, Assemblyman Wirths, Freeholder Petillo, Mayor Francis, Councilman Smith, Councilman Young, and the Picatinny community for being here with us today.
To Michael’s friends and family, especially his mother, Councilwoman Dawn Roberts; Christopher Roberts; Michael’s brothers, Samuel and Matt: I offer on behalf of the United States Congress the deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved son, brother, neighbor, and friend.
There is nothing I can say here today that will be enough to honor Michael’s sacrifice for our country. There is nothing anyone can say to capture his commitment to our country. But I will try to express, on behalf of a grateful nation, our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Michael and his family.
And I hope, that in naming this building after Michael, this small measure will remind us that we owe more than we can ever repay to the men and women who have given their lives so that we can keep our families at home secure and enjoy the blessings of our democracy.
New Jersey had a proud son in Sgt. Kirspel. A patriot, in the truest sense of the term, who loved his country, his family, and his community in Sussex County. A patriot for whom service was not a slogan, but a calling felt deeply even at the age of 18. A patriot who left his loved ones and friends in Sussex to go overseas, thousands of miles away from home, to defend our freedom.
Sgt. Kirspel is a model for all Americans. He embodied selflessness and dedication and in his short career earned both the Army Commendation Medal with Valor and the Army Achievement Medal. He was a builder, a welder, and loved the open road, carrying with him the spirit that has always driven our country forward.
We lost Michael too soon. But I hope that with this dedication, all those who enter into this building will remember Sgt. Kirspel’s commitment to our country, and the important work done here at Picatinny to keep our soldiers safe in the field. Thank you.