“Our flag doesn’t fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it. “ Anonymous
On Memorial Day, we honor those brave heroes who stood on the “Wall of Freedom” and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
The first Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War era when a group of Southern women decorated graves of soldiers from both the Confederate and Union Armies who died in battle. The first national memorial observance was in May 1868. In 1873, New York was the first state to legalize the holiday and by 1890, all of the Northern states celebrated Memorial Day on May 30. In 1971, the observance date was changed to the last Monday in May.
In World War I, 116,516 troops died for our country and 405,399 gave their lives in World War II. The Korean War took 33,686 heroes and in Vietnam, 50,209 paid the ultimate price. The number of American troops who have died fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan totals over 7,000.
One of the more compelling tributes to our fallen troops is the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. In 1988, I made my first visit to “The Wall” and it was quite an emotional experience. Some visitors knelt in prayer, some left tokens of remembrance while others sketched the names of their loved ones onto a piece of paper.
The names on “The Wall” are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date, and within each date the names are alphabetized. There are three sets of fathers and sons honored and 31 sets of brothers. Almost 4,000 on the Memorial were just 22 or younger and 8,283 were only 19 years old. The largest age group taken was 18 years old and numbered 33,103. Twelve troops were only 17, 5 were only 16 and one soldier was only 15.
On their first day in Vietnam, 997 troops lost their lives while 1,448 were killed on their last day of service there.
For many, Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer. For others, it is a day for barbecues, picnics and parades. For all of us, it should be a day to honor those Americans who gave their lives for our country.
Please join us for the Annual Kirkwood Memorial Day Parade & Service on Monday, May 29, 2023, at 11:00am. The parade will lead off from the old Carriage House Restaurant at 1219 Kirkwood-Gibbsboro Road and proceed down Gibbsboro Road, turn right onto Walnut Avenue, left on Second Avenue, right on Chestnut Avenue, and right on Burnt Mill Road, ending at the Veterans Memorial adjacent to the Kirkwood Fire Station. Following the parade at 11:30am, there will be a wreath ceremony and memorial service. Light refreshments and hot dogs will be available for everyone at the conclusion of the event. Special thanks to Terri and Vaughn Vandegrift for organizing this community tradition!
Honor our fallen heroes by enjoying barbecues, parades and picnics. Honor them by embracing your family. Honor them by cherishing your freedom. They would have wanted it that way.
** The Voorhees Basketball Association Summer League season runs from June 6 thru Aug. 3 at Kirkwood Park and ET Hamilton School. Registration deadline is May 19. For more information, visit VoohreesBasketball.com or contact John Conners firstname.lastname@example.org
** The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Mobile Inspection Unit will be at the Voorhees Town Center on Monday, May 22, 2023, from 8:30am – 2:30 pm. Vehicle inspections will take place on a first come–first serve basis. Appointments are not necessary. For more information, visit NJ Motor Vehicle Commission https://nj.gov/mvc/inspection/aboutinsp.htm
** The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation with Dooney’s Pub will host its 3rd Annual Golf Outing on June 19 at Little Mill Country Club. Sponsorship packages and registration are open for a limited time. For more information, e-mail email@example.com or call )856)784-0615.
** Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets for Morey’s Amusement Piers and Water Parks located on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ. Tickets may be obtained in person from the Office of the Voorhees Township Clerk (856) 429-7757 and are payable by CASH ONLY. Tickets are available to residents and non-residents. The tickets do not expire.