New Veterans Memorial monument dedicated in township

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On Sunday, Sept. 9, the Sons of the American Legion [S.A.L.] Squadron 348 unveiled and dedicated the newly constructed Veterans Memorial Monument . PHOTO BY KAYLA MARSH

BRICK TOWNSHIP — A new Veterans Memorial monument will be a lasting tribute to ensure those who proudly served and are currently serving at home and abroad, are not forgotten for their sacrifices in defending the country’s freedom.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, the Sons of the American Legion [S.A.L.] Squadron 348 dedicated the new monument at the post on Mantoloking Road, which honors the brave men and women from all branches of the United States Armed Forces who have served, continue to serve and who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving.

“Today we have come here to honor those men and women who have not only brought honor to themselves, but to our country and to each of us,” S.A.L. 348 Chaplain Steve Lance said as he opened the ceremony with an invocation.

“Those who have served and returned, those who are serving today and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and shall never return, this living memorial is our way of honoring them.”

Despite rain requiring the covering of the monument until its official unveiling, dozens of attendees huddled under tents to celebrate the occasion.

“Awhile back[the post was] talking about cleaning up the area around the flagpoles, maybe putting some type of a garden there,” S.A.L. 348 Commander Reggie Benesch told the audience.

“When S.A.L. heard about the garden, we thought it would be a great place to honor all the veterans who have served our country and to place pavers and monuments to honor all branches of the service.

As the flags representing each branch of the military — Army, Navy, Marines, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard and Air Force — were raised to the sounds of bagpipes and drums by the Toms River-based Shamrock & Thistle Pipes & Drums, pavers detailing the history of the branch, as well as that of the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Auxiliary were unveiled to applause from attendees.

”Any chance I get to honor veterans I always want to be there,” Mayor John Ducey told the audience. “My father was a Vietnam War veteran … so something like this means a lot. Congratulations to all and congratulations to Post 348.”

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