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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

As we approach another Memorial Day weekend, I often worry that these significant days are not covered enough in schools.  I hope students realize that they are not just "days off of school," weekends for sales and parties, but days that deserve reflection and even action.

You may have noticed the pictures in the room of classmates that I have lost serving our country.  Some of you may have heard me tell stories about them, and I have listened to many of your stories as well.  You may have noticed from time to time I wear a bracelet that my grandmother gave me in high school, before I went to a week of JROTC training during the summer.
These bracelets were sold in the '90s to raise money for the New Jersey Vietnam Memorial and Museum, located off the Garden State Parkway.  if any of you have been there, I'd love to read about it in the comments or hear about it in class.  These "KIA" bracelets have the name of New Jersey service men and women who lost their lives serving in Vietnam.  For many years I knew nothing about LCPL Firth's name and the date of his death.  But since it was recently the 50th anniversary of his passing, and since Google has come around since I was in High School, I was able to find out more about him.  
The first thing I discovered was a young face to the name I wore all these years.  I learned the town where he grew up in, the names of his parents and siblings.  I learned where he died in Vietnam.  I learned that he earned several decorations, including the Purple Heart medal.  I also learned that he was only 21 years old.  It seems that with every discovery, every event in the news, every day that passes, this bracelet has much more meaning.

For this blog post, I invite you to research about another service man or woman from New Jersey who lost their life serving our country.  It can be from recent or from early American history.  Each one will be significant.  Please do not just copy and paste a biography you find on-line, but take time to read it, reflect on it, and share what learning about it means to you. 


  1. Marine Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian, May 4, 2013
    Born and lived in Ramsey NJ

    He died at the age of 39 due to what his brother said was an attack by an Afghan National Army soldier whom Christian had been training. He was one of four brothers who played sports at Ramsey Highschool. He was the 151st person with significant ties from New Jersey to die in the Iraq Afghanistan War.

  2. Guard Staff Seargent Jorge M. Olivieria.

    Age 33 from Newark, New Jersey. A Newark Resident and Essex County Sherrifs Officer was killed in action on October 10th, 2011.
    He died in Paktika province, Afghanistan. An improvised bomb was set of in his units, he suffered from his wounds which lead to his death. The week following his tragic death over 2,500 people including policeman and service man attended his funeral.

  3. The person that I am researching is Daniel Owen. HE was a commander and he was part of the tank unit. He born in Burlington, New Jersey on November 1st, 1946. He was killed on August 24th, 1968. He served for two years and he was 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment. He was killed in hostile action. I respect Owen so much for fighting for our country. It takes a lot of bravery to do what he did.

  4. •Army Pfc. LeRoy DeRonde III; age: 22; Jersey City
    •Was trying to take care of his family financially; very close to family
    •Unit was attacked in Afghanistan
    •Reflection: I feel as though his only goal was to protect and care for his family due to his mother's death and the worry for his brother's cancer coming back. I idolize his strength, bravery, and determination through this process. Although he was so young and his loss was such a tragedy, he felt that this was his purpose which is extremely admirable.

  5. Private Tony Kepler was born in Hibernia, and resided in Wharton, New Jersey. He was 26 years of age, serving in the Army during WWI. He served overseas from April 25th until his death on October 12th.

  6. Phillip Curtis Adams
    5/24/1950 - 5/5/1970
    Petroleum Supply Specialist
    Lived in Camden, NJ

    Phillip Curtis Adams was born to Matthew and Betty Adams. He graduated from Camden high school in June of 1969. He was assigned to the 524th Quartermaster Company, U.S. Army Cam Ranh Bay Support Command. This was a part of the 1st Logistical Command. The group provided logistical support for a brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, and parts of the Korean 9th Division. He died by drowning in the Khanh Hoa province while trying to save the life of his best friend. He was only 19 years old and was married. He was returned to the United States for hi burial.

  7. Marine Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian.

    Christian was 39 years old and lived in Ramsey. He was a social butterfly growing up getting along with everyone. He also was a star football player for his high school apparently no one on the field was better than him said his coach. Sadly he was Killer in action in Farah province. His brother said it was an attack by an Afghan National Army soldier whom Christian had been training. He is not married and does not have any children. The 151st person from NJ to die in the Afghanistan war; his burial was held in Arlington NJ

  8. Andrew J. Kiefhaber was born April 1, 1948. he lived in Browns Mills, NJ. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY. he enjoyed fencing, swimming, and hunting. He was a member of the chess club and involved with intramural sports and a member of the LaSalle Club and dance committee. He had one sister, Rosemary, and one brother, William.He entered the US Army in February 1968, where he attained the rank of Corporal . On February 23, 1969, at the age of 20, Kiefhaber was killed in action when he was hit with fragments from a hostile booby trap.He received the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.

  9. Richard Raymond Cane was born on December 15, 1942 in Southeast Asia, but later on moved to Wayne, NJ. He was a major for the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He dies at the age of 25 on September 12, 1967 by an aircraft crash. The body was not recovered, but was declared dead. Some of his badges are 1st Marine Air Wing, Flight Officer, Marine Air Group 11, VMCJ-1, Purple heart, Air medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, and Vietnam Campaign medals.

  10. Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca was from North Arlington, in Bergen County, New Jersey. At 20 years old, he died during combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province on February 10th, 2013. Osbrany had a twin brother, Osmany Montes De Oca. The identical twins both always wanted to become a marine, which is what they did, but only Osmany came home alive. Him and his brother were always together and were very close. Him and his family were close and he had a girlfriend he called the love of his life.

  11. Stanley John Cygon, born November 17, 1940, was a soldier in the Army who fought and died in the Vietnam War; he was a captain from Boonton. Though he was a non-hostile cause, he still fought and died while serving our country. He died on April 3rd, 1968. He was only 27 when he died. He was awarded National Defence, Vietnam Service, and Vietnam Campaign medals. Veterans and those who died while serving our country are important to remember because, because of them, we are able to live as a free country today. The diversity and rights we hold in the United States are able to remain thanks to the brave soldiers who fought in war.

  12. Joseph D Adrian was a soldier that served in the air force. He tested a new airplane for the military with successful results. He was a first Lieutenant. However, he was missing in action when his F-100 airplane was not found and could not be communicated to. Prior to him joining the military, he had a degree in electrical engineering and loved his brand new 1964 Corvette.

  13. Edward K. Miller was born on November 3, 1948 in Richland, NJ.
    He enlisted in the US Marine Corps on May 25, 1967 and attained the rank of Lance Corporal (LCPL). He served with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st MARDIV.Edward Miller was killed in action on August 17, 1968 in South vietnam. He is buried at Friendship Cemetery in Buena, NJ.
    - Cat

  14. John Vincent Folger: Private First Class

    John Vincent Folger was born on February 19, 1949. He was a Roman Catholic from Bayonne, New Jersey who served as a PFC for our country in the Vietnam War. His service began on March 29, 1969. He died about 2 months later on May 13, 1969 at the age of 20 years old in Providence 04: Quang Tin, South Vietnam. He was known by his loved ones as smart, strong, funny, and sincere.

  15. Sergeant Major Earl Scott Wemple

    Wemple was a 44 year old man who lived in Netcong, New Jersey. His birthday was January 7, 1925, and died on April 21, 1969 from an accident. He was married, and a member of a Roman Catholic Church. He was stationed in Southeast Asia when he died, and his unit name was 101 Airborne Div. He was awarded The Combat Infantryman's Badge(CIB), The Bronze Star Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, The Purple Heart Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster for his combat related wounds, The World War II Victory Medal, The World War II Occupational Medal, The Korean Service Medal, The Korean Defense Medal, The United Nations Service Medal, The Air Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, The Army Commendation Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal(s) and The Good Conduct Medal(s).He was a very highly decorated official who deserves to be remembered and honored by all.

  16. Army 1st Lt. Ashley Henderson Huff

    Died September 19, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

    Ashley was a 23 year old girl from Belle Mead, New Jersey. She was first assigned to 549th Military Police Company, 385th Military Police Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Ashley died on September 19, 2006 serving Operation Iraqi Freedom. She sustained many injuries through a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her mounted patrol during combat operations in Mosul, Iraq. Ashley eventually died of her injuries. Unfortunately, she was a newlywed looking forward of going home and seeing her husband. Additionally, Ashley was a big fan of University of Georgia's football team. On her tomb stone, an inscription stated, "Lover wife, daughter, sister; dedicated solider; a joy to all". Personally, I am proud of Ashley and thank her for her sacrifices.

  17. Charles Joseph Watters

    Charles was a major in the United States Army. He is from Jersey City, New Jersey. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery shown while rescuing wounded men in the Vietnam War, specifically the Battle of Dak To. He was killed in the battle By his own troops because a 500-pound bomb was dropped on American paratroopers near the triage area where he was working. He was buried in Arlingron National Semetary. As a kid he went to Seton Hall Prep.

    Although it is very sad that he passed away, it is pretty cool that he lived so close to us and even went to school at Seton Hall!! It's a shame he had to die at the expense of his own troops, because he wasn't even in battle. He seemed to be a good man considering he won the bravery award .

  18. Frederic R. Delange was born on February 7, 1946. He lived and grew up in Lincoln Park, NJ. He never got married or had any children. Frederic was a Private First Class for the United States during the Vietnam War. He death was an accident, and he was 20 years old when he died. He is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, NJ. While learning about Frederic I learned he was from the same town ad me, son it meant a lot to me know someone from my small town died for his country.

  19. The book I am currently reading for English is called " Redemption at Hacksaw". This biography is about a solder named Desmond doss. He was not born in New Jersey however he was very significant towards the world war 1. He was know as a Adventist. That is part of his religion. In his religion he swore not to touch any gun, bomb or weapon. However he wanted to serve his country. He was faced with many challenges going into the army because many officers do no understand how he would get through the war without defense. They thought he was crazy. Eventually after many rude comments and bulling from other solders he was put in a division as a medic. He proved many people wrong, showing them that he can still serve his country with out holding a weapon. As world war 1 went on he saved many many people's lives. In this one situation as a medic in his first couple days of the job he pronounced 1 soldier dead, and Desmond loss hope for this soilder. However 5 minutes later he was breathing again and from then on Desmond never pronounced anyone dead without checking at least 3 times, and no matter how bad their condition was he always tried his best to keep them alive and off the battle feild. From then on he never lost hope. He would try and save anyone no matter where they are. In another situation this solder was shot at the top of the hill right next to a Japanese gunman. Desmond doss did not care, he crawled into the bushes slowly and quietly to get to the wounded soilder. He was only 2 feet in front of the soilder and managed to get the soilder in stable condition and back down the hill without getting shot. He was most of the time in the line of fire, but again he didn't care, he wanted to save those men. He thought most times when trying to save these wounded shoulders about Their family back home. He would think of there kids and their life they had back home. That would help motivate Desmond doss to get through a those battle feilds and help those wounded soilders. He then later retired from the army and was awarded many purple hearts and medals for his act of courage. He was one of the 1st to get a purple heart and being an Adventist. His story shows me that when people are brought down by others of there religion to never give up and always have hope. His story shows to stick with your gut. He unfortunately passed away in 2006 however he was and still is an inspiration to many; including me.

  20. Katrina Bell-Johnson
    U.S. Army Specialist
    Katrina died on February 16th, 2005 and was born on May 17th,1972. Katrina was killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq and was only 32 years old. She was a wife and a mother. She had one daughter who was two months old and her name was Gabrielle. She was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Katrina was remembered as a positive, determined, and sweet person.
    To reflect on her story and realize her daughter will never get to know her mother. To remember that she volunteered to be there and died fighting. I love how she was remembered for how much faith she had in herself and others. Katrina deserves to remembered for who she was and her determination during hard times.
    -Nicole Kahwaty 3A

  21. Donald Lee Corbin resided in Swedesboro, NJ, of Gloucester County. Born on November 16, 1946, Corbin passed away from a gunshot wound while in battle at Vietnam on August 8, 1966. This means that Corbin was only 19 when he passed away, meaning he never reached the age of 20. Private First Class Corbin was a medic in the Army, and he lost his life while trying to help another wounded soldier. Corbin was buried in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Cemetery located in Washington D.C., and it was written in his middle school yearbook that he was a shy person, yet always smiling. His hobbies during the eighth grade included baseball and chorus, which go to show that he was a student just like any of us that tragically lost his life serving our country. He went into battle and lost his life when he was only a few years older than us, which is hard to imagine. Over this Memorial Day break, we should thank all of those who have served our country for their valiant and brave efforts.
    -Suneet Desai 5A

  22. Charles Manuel Andujar, a man who served in the Army, was born on July 3rd, 1934. He resided in Newark, New Jersey and served in the Vietnam War. His rank was a Staff Sergeant and served in the regiment of the 3rd infantry. He served for a solid tne years and was deemed Roman Catholic. He was rewarded numerous awards, such as the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, and the Purple Heart. Unfortunately, Andujar suffered from small arms fire which resulted in his death at the mere age of 34. Andujar is only one of the many cases that have occurred over the numerous wars.

    So over this particular Memorial break, we should all remember and thank all those who laid their lives down for the sake of our country.

  23. Name: Timothy Raymond McGill

    Age: 30

    Hometown: Ramsey, NJ

    Position: Army National Guard Staff Sargent

    Date of Death: September 21st 2013

    Cause of Death: One of three soldiers killed when an Afghan wearing a security forces uniform turned his gun on American troops.

  24. Reginald Flack was born on August 15, 1946, in Norwalk, CT, to Herbert and Mary Flack. He grew up in Miami, FL, before moving to Fort Lee, NJ, in 1962. His home of record is Fort Lee, NJ. Flack was drafted into the US Marine Corps in March 1966, and attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC). He was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines. Before going to Vietnam, Flack was sent to the Philippines to learn the techniques of amphibious assault. Flack was killed in action on May 20, 1967, when trying to secure a beachhead in Quang Tri, near the Demilitarized Zone. He is buried in Madonna Cemetery in Fort Lee.

    In a letter to Flack' parent, David J. Harrington, Captain, US Marine Corps Reserve, wrote "Reginald was one of the finest young Marines I had ever known. His exemplary conduct, and singular determination to do every job well were qualities that all of us respected. We will miss him and hope you will find some comfort in knowing this."
    This letter, written by someone who knew Flack well, shows just how heartbreaking Flack's death was. Aside from being a stellar Marine, he was also an amazing person. Soldiers should be remembered and properly recognized, both currently and posthumously, because when they die in action, America is not just losing a person who fights for it, but instead, the world is losing a person. The least we can do is properly remember them on Memorial Day Weekend and take into account how their families must feel. Thank you to all of our soldiers and veterans - you are all appreciated very much.
    -Shuba Prasadh A5

  25. Thomas Robert Ike

    Thomas Robert Ike held the rank of Private First Class (PVC) and fought in Southern Vietnam. He was born on November 2, 1946 in Millington, NJ. He had three brothers and one sister. Ike graduated from Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, NJ, in 1965. He liked to do track, and was part of a club called Knights of Columbus. Ike's branch of service was in the Marines, and he served in South Vietnam. He served in 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, Company M, 3rd Squadron. He died while fighting on May 25, 1967, exactly 50 years ago. Ike was awarded National Defense Service Medal, the US Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and the Purple Heart.

    Reading this biography about Ike made me feel very sad because he died while he was fighting, which is Killed in Action (KIA). He got shot, and passed away shortly after. It is important to remember everyone who served for our country, and all they did in order to help us. People like Thomas Ike made a bold choice to defend our nation, and they had to sacrifice their life to help the citizens of America. I am glad that I learned about Ike today because today is his 50-year death day anniversary. The fact that our society right now is becoming more aware of the people who fought for us and died in the process is a positive step forward. For this Memorial Day and every Memorial Day in the future, we shall all do the same thing. Instead of thinking about shopping and sales, it is important to have a moment and thank the people that fight for our nation because they put in a lot of effort to let us live so safely in this country.

  26. Name: Christopher Monahan Jr.

    Age: 25

    Hometown: Ocean Gate

    Information: Christopher was a US marine and sadly he died on November 26,2012. He was killed when the truck in which he was riding struck an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province. Christopher was the oldest of three siblings and he had three kids of his own. The reason that Christopher joined the marines was because his father was apart of the national guard, and he wanted to serve his country too.

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  28. On June 2, 1815, Philip Kearny was born in New York City to an affluent family. A year after his grandfather’s death in 1836, from whom he had inherited a large amount of money, Kearny enrolled in U.S. Military Academy at West Point and became a second lieutenant in the 1st Dragoons, his uncle’s regimen. A skilled horse rider, he was sent to France to attend the French Cavalry School in Saumur. During this time, he aided the French Cavalry in Algiers in 1840 before returning to the U.S. and becoming the aide-de-camp for Generals Alexander Macomb and Winfield Scott. He was serving in the Mexican-American war when he received an injury to his arm during the Battle of Churubusco, which was eventually amputated. He retired and returned to his New Jersey in 1851 before joining Napoleon III’s Imperial Guard in 1859.
    During the American Civil War, he was commissioned as a brigadier general for the First New Jersey Brigade despite his impairment due to the need for experienced generals. He aided the Army of the Potomac in the Seven Days’ Battles in 1862 and was promoted to major general on July 4, 1862, where he was placed in command of a division of General Samuel P. Heintzelman’s III Corps. During this time, he developed the idea of corps badges as an identifier on the chaotic battlefield, which was soon adopted by the entire army. He continued to serve in other battles before being killed on September 1, 1862, during the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia. He had accidentally ridden to close to the Confederate troops while scouting positions for his troops and was then shot while attempting to escape. However, because many Confederate soldiers and generals, including General Robert E. Lee, had great respect for Kearny, they sent his body to Union lines under a flag of truce so he could be given a proper burial. Because of his many achievements, his hometown in Hudson County was eventually renamed after him.
    Reading about General Philip Kearny’s story was truly meaningful. Instead of deciding to live a life of luxury and wealth, he gave back to his country by serving in the military, even aiding another country in their war efforts. Not only that, he went back to serve his country after retirement and with only one arm because the Union needed skilled, experienced generals. He came up with a wonderful solution to preventing friendly fire on the battlefield and had gained respect from even the opposing side. He gave everything he could to his country and greatly aided in its improvement. He is truly a general to be remembered.
    -Isabel Gorostiza A2

  29. Gerald Klossek was born on April 13, 1946 in Philadelphia , but raised in Newark, NJ by his immigrant parents and grandparents. He attended East Side High School and Essex County Vocational-Technical High School. He loved music and dressing sharp. Learning that he attended a vocational school and enjoyed music was interesting because this is something Gerry and I have in common, even though we are very different people separated by decades. Gerry was very close to his cousin Sonny, who was drafted into the US Army in 1966 into the 9th Infantry Division, which made Gerry himself enlist. However, he failed his physical exam but fought to get in and was eventually approved. Something special about him was that he fought alongside a friend, PFC Bernis J. Darling, Jr., who was black. At that time in Newark, blacks and whites were enemies. They were both featured in a picture in an article for The Star Ledger titled "Color Doesn't Mean a Thing to Two Buddies." I thought this was extremely unique and heartwarming because they overcame the racial differences in each other to become friends. This camaraderie displayed the type of person Gerry was and that he was a man of honor. Sadly, he was injured in action 3 separate times. Shrapnel was stuck in his body, despite surgery, and he had to be stitched back up without it fully being removed. Something I respect wholeheartedly about him is that a third injury should have given him the ticket home, but he chose to stay in order to not leave his friends and to avenge the ones that died in action. Gerry died on November 21, 1967, which is also his cousin Sonny's birthday. He was killed in action due to fragmentation wounds. I became inspired by Gerry the instant I started reading about him. The strength of his will and the bond between his cousin and friend were remarkable and rare and unforgettable. This assignment has taught me that each soldier has their own unique story that should be respected and remembered forever.

  30. Charles Ernest Hosking Jr. was born on May 12th, 1924 in Ramsey, New Jersey. When he was 20 years old (1944) he joined the Army from Fort Dix, which is located in Trenton, New Jersey. Fort Dix was established in 1917 and is still in use today. From here Hosking went on to serve in the Vietnam war as a sergeant first class, which is the seventh rank in the United States Army. Hosking died on March 21st, 1967 at the age of 42 in South Vietnam. He was an advisor for a CIDG (Civilian Irregular Defense Group), which is a United States program created during the war to help develop irregular military units of the South Vietnamese from the minority populations. This was when a Viet Cong sniper was captured, and Hoskins was preparing to transport the prisoner to his base camp. Unfortunately, the sniper grabbed and armed a hand grenade from Hosking’s belt. The man ran towards the company command group, but Hosking stopped the prisoner. Hoskins then shielded the grenade with his body and the snipers body, where they were the only people who died. Because of his actions, Hosking was awarded the Medal of Honor.
    This and every other Memorial day, it is important that we remember the heros and families that have sacrificed so much to protect their country.

  31. Jeffrey Lynn Scheller, the youngest New Jersey soldier in the Vietnamese War, died just barely two months before his 18th birthday. He was born in Rahway, New Jersey on July 31, 1954, a Saturday. As for his military information, he was a regular in the navy. His grade at loss was E2 and his rank was SA. His military occupational speciality, more commonly known as MOS, was a SA Seaman Apprentice. He was in the USS Newport News unit and the 7th Fleet unit. He died on Sunday, October 1st, 1972, at the age of 18. His body was recovered offshore of North Vietnam. The reason for his death was of sea causality but nonetheless he passed away serving our country. Jeffrey Lynn Scheller must have grown up like any other, with a family and as a kid, who could’ve never imagined being in the army. Part of growing up is passing each stage of life, first becoming a kid from a toddler, then to a teenager. Turning 13 is one of the stages, so is 16 and 18 and so on because in these stages of life, different things shape us for the rest of our lives. Scheller never got to experience much of the age of 18 as well as the things after that because he sacrificed his life. Memorial Day should be a moment for people to thank those who have lost their lives to serve our country such as this man: Jeffery Lynn Scheller.

  32. Sergeant Raul M. Guerra passed away on the fourth of July in 2013. He died during his 5th deployment overseas in Spin Boldak Afghanistan. Mr. Guerra was 37 and was from Union City New Jersey. He served his country numerous times over the course of a decade, and died of not realized non-combative causes. He originally joined the military as a mechanic in 1999 and continued to serve his country in the ensuing 14 years. Due to lack of military personnel Mr. Guerra like countless others has had to spend more then the average time in the military. Many soldiers like Guerra have passed for the nobel cause of protecting this country. I petition you to remember them and their amazing love for yourself, and this country.

  33. Russell Cornish lived from September 28 1942 to April 12 1968. He started his life out in Maplewood New Jersey then went to college in Ohio to major in economics. His then served our country and became a Private First Class. On April 12th he made the ultimate sacrifice for out country and put his country before his own life. Sent out on the early morning outpost, he saw enemy troops approaching. Reacting he sent for help but then had to act on his own. Private First Class Cornish set a claymore mine off then continued to attack with an M-16 rifle. The enemy troops then opened fire in response. PFC Cornish was then mortally wounded yet still continued to fire on the enemy. Russel Cornish was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroism. When looking at this story, people see a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice. However, Russel Cornish was more then just a soldier, he was a son, a brother, and a friend. When someone loses their life in combat they demonstrate how dedicated they are to their country. Russel Cornish was just one of the 1,487 soldiers from New Jersey who died in the Vietnam War. Memorial Day is is a reminder to people about just how dedicated and selfless all these soldiers were.

    -Nicole Duca B5

  34. 1st Lt. Ryan Ianelli from East Greenwich in Gloucester County was killed in Afghanistan during a helicopter crash in 2011. He was 27 years old when he died. In high school, Ianelli was gifted both athletically and academically - he played baseball and was in the National Honor Society. He received a degree in advertising and public relations and then did an MBA too. He joined the Marine Corps in 2009. Religion played a large part in Ianelli's life and he was a devout member of the Assemblies of God. Ianelli will be remembered as an America hero for the sacrifice he made. Memorial Day is an opportunity for all to remember the people who make America the safe nation it is today.

  35. John Benjamin Abbatemarco died in the Vietnam War on May 13, 1970 after serving as a Medical Specialist. He was born on March 24, 1949 in Hackensack, Bergen County. Abbatemarco was stationed in Cambodia for less than a year. He died by small arms fire, guns. The last rank he achieved was sergeant. John and all other service men and women will be remembered as American Hero's for the sacrifices they have made. Memorial Day, especially, every American has the opportunity to remember the fallen soldiers who made America the free and righteous country it is today.

    -Erin Huber A3

  36. Name: Paul D. Potter

    The soldier is from Monmouth, and served in the U.S. army. He lived from April 24, 1945 to August 23, 1968. I picked him to write about because he played for Rutgers football, and that is one of my favorite teams. Also, he is very inspiring because he was a very good student, but also known for his sports he played, which is very rare. Sadly, he as killed in action, but if I were to pick a NJ soldier to resemble a well round soldier it would be him, as may blog poss said. Fr is great strength, brightness and his personality.
    -Laura Wald A2

  37. Name: U.S. Army Sergeant Dennis F. Premock
    Dennis is a soldier from Franklin, New Jersey. He lost his life in 1968 during the Vietnam War. He was only 25 years years old. Dennis is considered a true American hero because he risked his life to help others. He and others were in a tank that had been hit from the front. He successfully saved the lives of some of his fellow soldiers, but then died due to a small fire. Even today, Dennis is honored and remembered. His family and friends have created on online memorial for him. This online memorial features pictures of Dennis and his family, and others have added posts about how he is missed. In addition, the township of Franklin is renaming a street in memory of this fallen soldier. Dennis's story is inspiring because it exemplifies that a true soldier is never forgotten.

    Devina Jain B5

  38. Evander E Andrews was an American soldier who died in the war against Iraq. He was an engineer who worked on the aircrafts used by the US Air Force. His death was very unconventional for a US soldier and it probably should not have happened. He had always wanted to serve his country and when he was finally given the chance he became the first American to die in the war against Iraq. He did not die in Iraq he died in America and it was a tragic story. He was working on a plane when there was a forklift accident that took his life. He was an amazing man who had two children who never got to see him again. The saddest part is that he did not even get the chance to serve his country fully before he died.
    -Steven Cipoletti

  39. James Perron was born in Ringwood in Passaic County on May 31st 1947. He graduated from our Savior Lutheran High Scholl in the Bronx. Perron was killed in action on March 12, 1967,
    While delivering ammunition to a platoon.

  40. Abene Charles Frederick was born on November 18, 1930 in Bloomfield in Essex County. During the war, he served as an ordnance officer. When he was 38 years old one day after his birthday, he was killed in action on November 19, 1968.

  41. John Benjamin Abbatemarco was born on March 24, 1949 in Hackensack in Bergen County. During the war, he served as a medical specialist in the war and contributed to saving lives on the battlefield. Sadly, he died on May 13, 1970 when he was just 21 years old.
    - Akshat Jain

  42. Army 1st Lt. Ashley Henderson Huff
    Died September 19, 206, Operation Iraqi Freedom

    She was 23 years old when a truck full of IEDs exploded near he own vehicle in Mohul, Iraq. She sustained many injuries and couldn't recover. She eventually died on September 19th.

    She was almost finished with her tour when this happened. She was married jusst before she left, and she looked forward to being with her family again.

    She put her country before even herself and for that I thank her. She is a true hero.

  43. The person that I chose to research is Al Blozis. He was also known as Ai and was born on January 5th 1919 in Garfield NJ. He grew in a family of immigrants from Lithuania and eventually became well known due to his skill in discus throw and shot put. He also attended William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey and went to Georgetown University afterwards. Playing for the New York Giants, he had to keep living up to his potential and improve his talent. His size ended up being the factor that prevented him from going into the military. Defying fate, he persuaded the military to waive its size limit and to accept him. He decided to enlist in World War II. On January 21st him and his group had to scout out enemy lines. As his Sergeant and his private disappeared, he went to look for them alone, eventually not returning. His dead body was eventually confirmed late April of that year and he was presumed to have died in January 31st 1945.
    I chose to research this person because I found his story intriguing. Starting off with nothing, at first, he managed to beat the odds and become a famous New York Giants player. Even after making a name for himself, he wanted to go even further as to serve his country. Forcing the military to accept him, he was a man of true passion and dedication to his country. I was inspired by that fact alone and moved by his actions. I felt awful when reading his death story. One selfless man serving his country ended with a tragic ending.

  44. Alvin Cullum York (December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964), also known as Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I.[1] He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, taking 35 machine guns, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers, and capturing 132. York's Medal of Honor action occurred during the United States-led portion of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France, which was intended to breach the Hindenburg line and force the Germans to surrender. Died September 2, 1964

  45. I decided to research someone named Sargent John Benjamin Abbatemarco. He grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, and he served in the Vietnam War in the medical corps. He died in Cambodia, and his cause of death was hostile. He was born in 1949, and he died on May 13, 1970. I cannot believe he died when he was 21 years old, that is so young. Because of this, I am honored to be a citizen of the United States. People in the army risk their lives everyday, just to make sure the American people have freedom and rights. These people in the army are so selfless. When John Benjamin joined the army, he had to be such a good person. He was willing to put his life in danger, for the sake of the people. I am so thankful for the veterans.

  46. I researched someone named Joseph Stephen Acsai. He was born in Indiana on August 28th, 1919, and lived in Arkansas most of his life. He fought in World War II, and was part of the Army. He was in the 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 5th Army. His service locations were Africa, Sicily, and Italy. He was the First Lieutenant who served from 1941-1945. The article I found him on says, "...Acsai earned the respect of his men through his confidence and his occasional disregard of authority". It also says, "Eventually, Acsai himself was promoted and placed in charge of his fellow soldiers. Having fought with them through Africa, Sicily, Anzio, Rome, and beyond, keeping every one of them alive, he inspired loyalty that would long outlast the war." This is truly inspirational because he is a person just as anyone else who had the same ideals and just wanted to protect his country. Joseph lived past the war and married a Doris Grawey, with whom he had a daughter named Janie Acsai. He recently passed away on July 10th, 2012 at the age of 92.