Galloway Salute To Veterans 2016

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Absegami High School Choir lead by director, Mrs. Cheryl Breitzman sang a beautiful patriotic song
Absegami High School Choir lead by director, Mrs. Cheryl Breitzman sang a beautiful patriotic song

OVER 100 PHOTOS!!!!!!

On Saturday September 17, 2016, the town of Galloway held its sixteenth annual Salute to Veterans ceremony and barbeque. Veterans from all over Galloway gathered at the Veteran’s Memorial Park, Glen by the Bay, for a ceremony to honor them for their service as well as to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Master of ceremonies Steve Stokes, from the Galloway Veterans Advisory Board welcomed everyone by introducing the people who made this day happen. Galloway Veterans Advisory Board members Ike Rucker, Chairman, Tony Coppola Jr., Councilman, Robert Maldonado, Councilman, Timothy Meadows Sr., Councilman, Russell Konrady, Lenny Long, Justin Vidal, Galloway Community Services Staff Beth Stasuk, Jennifer DiLuzio and Jennifer Hahn, The Mayor Don Purdy, Councilmans Frank Gargione, Tony DiPietro, and Rich Clute. The heart felt ceremony began with Absecon VFW Post 9462 honor guard posting the colors and the Boy Scouts of Galloway and Smithville leading the pledge of allegiance. When the National Anthem sung by Jim Craine of Smithville began, from the oldest to the youngest stood in honor. Guest speaker, Marco Polo Smigliani, a four-time recipient of the Purple Heart, a United States Marine, A Veterans Advocate and an American Patriot spoke about what it means to be an American to him, Marco who came from a small town in Italy, came to America and served proudly in the Marine Corps for this great nation. Marco spoke about all walks of life from all parts of the world who come to the United States and make up who and what Americans are, a diverse group of people who come together and create this great nation, the crowd was emotionally moved by a strong from the heart speech written by himself and his wife. The wreath presentation by Galloway Township Middle School Student council commenced and the Absegami High School Choir lead by director, Mrs. Cheryl Breitzman sang a beautiful patriotic song. The Choir attends every event in Galloway and performs from the heart and it shows in their young eyes the pride they have for our township, their school, their country and those who fight and have fought for their freedoms. We are so proud and pleased to have such wonderful young people represent our community at these special events.
Honors were bestowed upon all the Veterans in attendance and those who were there in spirit by Rolling Thunder presentation Paul Berenotto, President of the Rolling Thunder Ch4 of NJ, when he spoke these words: “The table is round to show our everlasting concern for our missing soldiers. The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering their country’s call to duty. The single red rose, in the vase, signifies the blood they had shed to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. The red ribbon tied so prominently on the base is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapels and breast of thousands who bore witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. A slice of lemon, on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in foreign land. A pinch of salt, symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families seeking answers. The bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as One Nation Under GOD. The Candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, by and into the open arms of a grateful nation. The glass, are inverted, they cannot toast with us today. The chairs, are empty, they are not here. Remember ALL, you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid and relied upon them. Those whose freedom they fought for, Remember them for surely, they have not forsaken you”.
Without a dry eye, the crowd was directed to the members of Last Salute Military Funeral Honor Guard of VFW Post 9462 for the rendering of military honors. Honors began with Last Salute Sergeant at Arm Chuck Knutson, ordering the firing of the cannon “The Jaime Lee” by 177th Fighter Wing Colonel Daniel Mitola, Staff Judge Advocate. The Last Salute bell rang three times and the VFW Post 9462 Honor Guard fired three volleys followed by the beautiful sound of Heather Berchtold’s playing Taps. Sergeant at Arms Chuck Knutson of Galloway along with Lance Corporal Kyle Ragland of Atlantic City, performed the final rendering of military honors, as the crowd stood perfectly silent, Last Salute unfolded a flag presented it to the crowd, refolded it, placed it upon the memorial, and rendered the final Last Salute. Veterans in the crowd were standing at attention and a sense of pride overwhelmed their faces as they remember those they served with who did not come home.
The conclusion of the ceremony was truly a pull at your heartstring moment. The Veterans Advisory Board invited the Veterans and their families to attend the wonderful spread of food prepared by Chef Joe DiLuzio and the Galloway Community Services Staff, Beth Stasuk, Jennifer DiLuzio, Jennifer Hahn and all of their volunteers.

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Galloway’s 4th of July Parade – Over 200 Photos!!!!

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Congratulations to the 4th of July Parade Committee for another amazing parade.  The quality and number of entries was better than ever. The Galloway Patriot was proud to help lead the parade with our military trucks and cannon the “Jaime Lee”

One of the Galloway Patriot's Military Trucks Helps Lead The Annual 4th of July Parade
One of the Galloway Patriot’s Military Trucks Helps Lead The Annual 4th of July Parade

Our roving photographer Rich took over 200 photos for you to enjoy.  If you were unable to make the parade you missed one of Galloway’s best events.  Don’t miss next year’s.  We are sure that it will be even better.

The Galloway Patriot displays its Salute to Veterans Civil War Cannon which is used at military funerals and veterans events
The Galloway Patriot displays its Salute to Veterans Civil War Cannon which is used at military funerals and veterans events

Watch this great video of Galloway Police Chief Donna Higbee firing our Salute to Veterans Civil War Cannon the “Jaime Lee” in front of the Smithville Inn after the 4th of July Parade.  The cannon was christened as part of the 4th of July festivities that day.  It had just finished being completed the day before.

There was a big crowd for this year's 4th of July Parade
There was a big crowd for this year’s 4th of July Parade


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Galloway Patriot Newspaper – Magnus Mud Run June 2016

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The Galloway Patriot newspaper’s Magnus Mud Run FREE children’s event drew a huge crowd for the first event of the season.  The run is held a couple times a year and this first one was Saturday, June 11th at the Galloway Twp. Municipal Complex on Jimmie Leeds Rd.

Hundreds showed up to have a great time and the weather was perfect.   Galloway’s Fire Department had to keep reloading water on their fire trucks as they used thousands of gallons to make mud out of dirt dropped by Galloway Public Works and then hose off the kids.

The kids walked through the Galloway Patriot’s huge military tent and got to see some military items as well as a cross made from steel recovered from the World Trade Center.  Then, they negotiated a number of fun obstacles with help from Marines, Boy Scout Troop 77 and other volunteers.

The event started with the Absecon VFW Honor Guard posting colors.  All the children said the Pledge of Allegiance and then the run began.

The Magnus Mud Run is a FREE community event produced by the Galloway Patriot newspaper and is in its 5th year.

We would like to thank our Sponsors – Clayton Self Storage, Home Depot, Hale Nails and Fred & Ethel’s in Historic Smithville Village.

Also, a big thank you to all our volunteers that worked so hard to set-up, manage, break-down and then put back the entire giant production at our locker in Clayton Self Storage.

Don’t miss the next one on August 20th at 11am.   Register now at

Check out the over 100 pictures from this great event!!!!!!!

All set up in the registration tent just before the fun begins
All set up in the registration tent just before the fun begins

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Veterans Day Events 2015 – Over 60 Photos

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We would like to thank all the people that attended and participated in the Veterans Day events in our area. It is great to see support from the community for those that have sacrificed and are committed to protecting America. Here is a little information and a few photos from three events which we were able to attend.

Our day started at Assumption Regional where the children did a wonderful presentation during an early morning assembly. After the assembly, veterans were presented with hand made cards thanking them for their service. The cards were extremely nice and thoughtful. While we could not make events at other schools, the Galloway Patriot, the Knutson family and the Marine Corps Direct Action Team, would like to thank all the schools, teachers and students that participated in Veterans Day events. It makes it all worth it to see such strong support from these amazing children.

Assumption Regional Catholic School 2015 Veterans Day event
Assumption Regional Catholic School 2015 Veterans Day event

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The second event which we attended was the “Galloway Township Salute to Veterans”. This annual event includes a wreath ceremony, a poem, a speaker and taps. On hand were Galloway’s Mayor Don Purdy, Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola, Galloway council members – Robert Maldonado and Tim Meadows, Atlantic County Freeholder Rich Dase. The ceremony was conducted by Ike Rucker – United States Marine Corps.

The wreath was placed by Galloway Township Middle School student council president, Gracie Harris and vice president, Durwood Pinkett.

The Absegami Choir lead by Cheryl Breitzman preformed two songs. Absegami’s choir is fantastic and helps us celebrate Veterans Day each year.

Galloway Mayor Don Purdy with United States Marine Ike Rucker
Galloway Mayor Don Purdy with United States Marine Ike Rucker

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The day ended with a Veterans Day Parade in Egg Harbor City. The parade, produced by council woman Hazel Mueller, was an honor for us to lead. The Galloway Patriot and Marine Corps Veterans Direct Action Team, led the parade along with the American Legion Color Guard and other local veterans. We brought our military vehicles, the Humvee which is signed on the dashboard by four Medal of Honor recipients and the M925A2 Troop Transport 6 wheel truck which is dedicated to the Marines of “BLT 1/8” (Battalion Landing Team 1/8). BLT 1/8 was the unit housed in the barracks in Beirut when it was bombed. That was the biggest single day loss of life for the Marine Corps since Word War 2.

Some of the parade participants included the Cedar Creek High School band, the Egg Harbor City Kiwanis Club, the Egg Harbor City Knights, the Knights of Columbus, Pirates Volleyball, the Egg Harbor City Fire Department and the 4H Baton Twirlers Club.

Egg Harbor City Council Woman, Hazel Mueller with a Egg Harbor City Police officer Luko at the EHC Veterans Day parade.
Egg Harbor City Council Woman, Hazel Mueller with an Egg Harbor City Police officer at the EHC Veterans Day parade.

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Again, we would like to thank everyone for their support of our veterans. It means a lot to us. If you would like to help the Marine Corps Veterans Direct Action Team prepare local young men and women that have joined the Marine Corps and are awaiting the day which they ship out for Boot Camp, please visit MCVDAT. Your help is greatly appreciated. We want to make sure these local young men and women are extremely well prepared and trained for the rigors and intensity of Marine Corps Boot Camp as well as their Marine Corps career. We know that the better they are trained, the more likely they will return home to our community safe.

Galloway 9-11 Memorial Event 2015

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The annual Galloway 9/11 Memorial Event  was held September 11th 2015 at the Municipal Complex.

Fire Chief Howard Berchtold was the Master of Ceremony. Reverend Al Syvertsen gave the Invocation.  The Galloway Police Department color guard presented the colors and the Galloway-Absecon VFW Honor Guard with the assistance of the Marine Corps Veterans Direct Action Team fired the gun salute.


The Local Boy Scouts led the pledge of allegiance and the National Anthem was sung by the Berchtold family.  God Bless America was performed by the Sandpipers.

Galloway Township Fire Chief, Amor “Skip” Portale, offered thoughts and remarks.  The Guest speaker was Michael Corbo, retired Deputy Chief of the Pleasantville Fire Dept.  Striking of the bell was performed by Ron Garbutt of the Germania Fire Dept.

The Absegami High School Choir performed Let there be peace on Earth led by Cheryl Breitzman.

Laying of the wreaths:  Grace Winkler & Dillon Simpson GTFD, Kaden Paone GTAS, Ava Buccafurni & Michael Buccafurni GTPD, Gracie Harris & Durood Pinkett GTMS.

Everyone stood for the Absegami Choir singing “God Bless The USA”.  Taps was played several times and performed the final time by Joe Ward & Heather Berchtold.  The Benediction was given by Deacon Richard Maxwell.  The evening closed with the Sandpipers playing “Amazing Grace”.

We must not forget the sacrifices of the fallen.  They represent the best among us.  They were always ready.  They were always willing.

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