The Honor Guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3020 provided a prayer, a wreath, and a rifle salute to help Riverton show veterans that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in their lives to keep our country free.
The group will have a busy week with several appearances at ceremonies in the area, notably Cinnaminson and Delran. Their dedication to “Honor the dead by helping the living” has earned them three VFW National Outstanding Community Service Awards.
Robert E. Smyth, Riverton Military & Veterans Affairs Committee Chairperson, and Mayor William C. Brown, Jr. officiated as nameplates for Jeffrey R. Cole, Edward J. Lohan Jr., Frank G. Lockhart, William G. Lockhart, and Harry Watkins became part of the distinguished Honor Roll of Riverton’s military veterans.
Regular readers may recall that Memorial Park was named for veterans of World War I and the Riverton War Memorial mainly records the names of those from Riverton who served in America’s armed forces during World War II.
Former Town Historian Mrs. Betty B. Hahle wrote a concise history of the War Memorial for the 2004 July Fourth Program booklet.
Certainly, Borough Council wrote another page of Riverton history in January 2012, when it formed the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee which made a simple change to the eligibility requirement resulting in dozens of veterans’ names from post-WWII conflicts being added to the Honor Roll.
Any present or former resident of the Borough of Riverton, New Jersey who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America during a time of war, is eligible to have their name placed on the memorial.
Perhaps the Military & Veterans Affairs Committee has now more fully achieved its mission to honor servicemen and women from the borough.
It sends the message Bob Smyth voiced about the 2012 Veterans Day ceremony. It shows “…all the residents and those who have served that we are here to support current military personnel and veterans.”
It has become, as Mayor Brown imagined it in May 2012, a memorial “…dedicated to past and present heroes.”
As before, we will post a service photo of any Riverton veteran in our online Riverton Veterans Album PDF if we can be provided a scan. Look for an update to that tribute soon to include the five names added today along with photos and other images received since the last update.
I can add names to captions here if a reader can advise me of any I have neglected. Your comments are welcome. – John McCormick