LIVINGSTON, NJ – During a special presentation held at Livingston Town Hall, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently honored the life and legacy of West Orange’s own, Christopher "C.J." Morgan, Jr., whose untimely death made national news as he was killed during a training exercise at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Morgan, a 2015 graduate of West Orange High School, was a standout wrestler and football player who co-captained his high school football team, was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Essex County Tournament and set the record for most wins ever in one season by a West Orange wrestler. He went on to make history as the first student from West Orange High School to attend West Point.
“The entire community of West Orange embraced Chris as one of their own," said Freeholder President Brendan Gill as he acknowledged CJ’s parents, April and Christopher Morgan, Sr., and offered condolences to the family on behalf of Essex County. "Tonight, Essex County embraces him as one of our own. He was our brother, our friend, and we all felt this tragic loss when we heard the news.”
Freeholders Tyshammie Cooper, Romaine Graham, Leonard Luciano and Patricia Sebold were also on hand to welcome the Morgan family and offer personal well wishes.
“The love and support that we’ve had from the community is what has helped us get through [this time],” said Christopher Morgan, Sr., extending gratitude to the board and the crowd in attendance at the ceremony, which was held at Livingston Town Hall.
Evidence of the impact Morgan, Jr. had on his community and everyone he touched was depicted by the vast number of former classmates, teachers, family members and more who attended a memorial ceremony in June. Photos from this event can be seen above, courtesy of Joseph Fagan.