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For most of us, Memorial Day is a holiday, a day spent with family and friends enjoying all of the things that make Cherry Hill such a wonderful place to live. But we should not forget that it is, first and foremost, a day of remembrance.
Memorial Day is a day to remember courage and gallantry. It is a day to recognize the willingness of ordinary men and women who heroically lay down their lives to protect our freedom and way of life. If "a government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth" then there must be those willing to commit the greatest sacrifice of all...and we should never let their memory pass from our collective heritage.
While many will spend the day at family gatherings, enjoying picnics, relaxing on the beach or holding barbecues, it is important to recognize those who made the day possible, through their defense of our freedom and their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Instead of simply celebrating a day off, I invite all Cherry Hill residents to join us in recognizing the true meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.
I hope you will join us on Monday May 28 at 11:00 am on the grounds of the Municipal Complex, 820 Mercer Street, as we honor those who gave their life in defense of our country at the Township's annual Memorial Day ceremony. The afternoon includes a memorial ceremony for those American soldiers we lost this year (American soldiers?), as well as a musical tribute to our Armed Forces by the Cherry Hill Pine Barons Chorus. Air National Guard Member and Camden County Freeholder Ian Leonard will deliver the keynote address.
We are proud to partner with American Legion Post 372, Jewish War Veterans Furer-Barag-Wolf Post 126 and ShopRite Supermarkets of Cherry Hill to present this day of remembrance. The ceremony will take place rain or shine and is an opportunity for Cherry Hill residents to take a moment and say thank you. Following the patriotic ceremony, all attendees are welcome to stay and enjoy a free barbecue lunch provided by ShopRite Supermarkets of Cherry Hill.
I would like to personally invite all of our veterans and active-duty military personnel to join us for this special ceremony and give us the opportunity to recognize everyone who currently serves and has served in the past. Each and every day that you serve our country, you risk your own lives to safeguard the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness throughout this world.
While this is a day to remember fallen comrades, in particular, we can never forget the heroism and selflessness displayed by all of Cherry Hill’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines throughout history. And while we honor their sacrifice, we must also take time and give thanks to the loved ones who support our men and women. These families keep soldiers’ spirits high and must stay strong in the face of constant uncertainty and sacrifice.
For more information on this special event, or if you’re a veteran or active-duty military planning to attend, please contact the Cherry Hill Recreation Department at (856) 488-7868. I hope that all Cherry Hill residents will take an hour out of their day, before you head to your barbeque or the beach, and join us for this special ceremony as we honor our heroes and recognize their sacrifices.