Vol. 119- 2021
May 28, 2021
Hunterdon County Commissioner Board Director Susan J. Soloway and
Veterans Services Officer Rich Booth
Memorial Day 2021:
Remembering Freedom Is Not Free
 
By Susan J. Soloway, Director and Veterans’ Liaison,
Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners

I joined with some of our Veterans this week in placing flags on the gravesites of our Hunterdon County Veterans, not only because it is important to pay tribute to those who have served, but also to highlight and recognize the solemn importance of Memorial Day.
 
It is a day we set aside to specifically honor the memory of those who, in service to our nation, have paid for our freedom and liberty with their lives. Reminding us that ‘Freedom is not Free’ is so much more than a slogan, it is a recognition of the high cost of our freedom, paid in the past, and continuing to be paid today, with the lives of our military forces.
 
My grandfather, father and sister proudly served in our nation’s military. Both by God’s grace returned from their service without harm. Their service has given me a deep appreciation for all Veterans, which is why it is an honor to serve as an advocate for our Veterans as the Board’s Veterans Liaison.
 
And that honor, in my opinion, bestows a duty on me to remind all of us about the true reason for Memorial Day.
 
So this weekend, as many host family, friends and neighbors at backyard gatherings, I am joined by my colleagues on the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners in encouraging everyone to take time to contemplate the cost of gaining and protecting our freedoms. We should always be mindful of those that did not come home and their families and friends that they left behind.
 
To reflect on the value of our liberties we enjoy as Americans. To understand why Memorial Day is not simply another holiday but is a special day for us to offer our gratitude and respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
 
On behalf of the entire Board of Commissioners, we commemorate Memorial Day, salute our Veterans, express our solemn appreciation to those who paid the price for the freedoms we all enjoy, with the knowledge that freedom is borne out of sacrifice, comes at a high cost, and has never, ever been free. 
The Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners has called on everyone to never forget the men and women in the military who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. There are several monuments and memorials throughout Hunterdon County. Visiting a memorial or monument is a respectful way to honor the fallen.

POEM
BY US ARMY MAJOR MICHAEL
DAVIS O’DONNELL*
170TH AHC, 52ND AVN BN, 17TH AVN GROUP, 1ST AVIATION BDE,
US ARMY, Vietnam

WRITTEN ON JANUARY 1, 1970

If you are able, save them a place inside you,
And save one backward glance when you are leaving,
for the places they can no longer go.

Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
though you may, or may not have always.
Take what they have left, and what they have
taught you with their dying, and keep it as your own.

And in that time that when men decide, and feel safe,
to call the war insane, take one moment,
to embrace these gentle heroes you left behind.

*Major O'Donnell died in a helicopter crash in Cambodia, March 1970, while serving his county
Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass

Beginning this past Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021.

The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to all of New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 27 through December 31, 2021. 

New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park.

The DEP will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

To receive your Vax Pas and get more information, you can visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/vaxandvisit/  
Hunterdon County Free
Electronic Waste Recycling Events

Saturday, June 19th
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

For more information click here or call 908-788-1351
Hunterdon County Health Department
COVID Vaccine Appointments Available

COVID-19 Self Test Kits are now available to all those who live or work in Hunterdon County
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