Old Assumption Church Continues To Serve

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The recently removed old Assumption Church on the White Horse Pike served the Galloway community for almost 100 years.  It was the site of countless weddings, christenings, funerals and services.  In our effort to preserve Galloway history and to conserve our communities enduring intrinsic memories, we asked to have some of the interior wood salvaged from the old church.  Luckily, Father Nick Dudo and Joe Picardi, a representative of the church not only had preserved some of the wood but were kind enough to share it with us.  Ray Ring from the church met us to make the wood available.  The church has also saved part of the steeple, the cross and the cornerstone.  We felt that using the wood to build items for our Military Funeral Honor Guard, “Last Salute”, would be a great way to repurpose and preserve something of such sentimental value.  We have built two wonderful and unique pieces from the wood so far.  First, we needed to build a stand for our recently acquired funeral bell.  This large solid brass bell required a very sturdy stand that could be moved from one location to another frequently so in addition to framing lumber, we used the church wood as ornamental additions in the shape of big stars along the top beams.  The bell stand turned out beautifully and is used at veterans funerals as well as other community events.  The stand was built by Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson and Dale Kiminsky.

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The second piece is a box used to hold the prayer cards which we collect.  Each time we preform a military funeral ceremony, we take a prayer card that is generally made as a remembrance.  All of these cards are now stored in the newly constructed box.  They travel to each funeral for which we conduct services and a new card is added.  The box pictured here was built by Chuck Knutson and master craftsman Steve Amadio who was also instrumental in the construction of our Civil War cannon the “Jaime Lee”.  Upon the top of the box, the official “Last Salute” prayer has been carved. Last Salute and the VFW Post 9462 Honor Guard have participated in 88 events so far this year.  Most of these have been funeral services provided at no charge to the families of fallen heroes.  Last Salute is an all volunteer organization that does not charge for any services but does need the communities help to keep providing these services.  If you would like to help, please attend the Last Salute Cocktail Reception and fundraiser at the Smithville Inn on October 13th at 6pm.   You can purchase tickets ahead of time at www.LastSalute.US.  If you are unable to attend, you may also make donations at our site.

Run For The Fallen Passes Through Galloway

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Gold Star mother Laura Iorio stands with members of Rolling Thunder as the await the NJ Run For The Fallen runners at Galloway's Veterans Park
Gold Star mother Laura Iorio stands with members of Rolling Thunder as the await the NJ Run For The Fallen runners at Galloway’s Veterans Park

On September 23, 2016 the New Jersey Run For The Fallen ran through Galloway. The run starts in Cape May Point and goes all the way to the Vietnam Memorial in Holmdel. The run stops at multiple locations along the way designated, “Hero Markers” to meet with supporters and “Gold Star” mothers. Galloway’s Hero Marker is numbered “214”. The marker is located at Galloway’s Veterans Park on route 9.

As the run passed through Galloway the runners all stopped and hugged Gold Star mother Laura Iorio. Laura lost her son, Bradley, an Absegami Graduate, to the war on terrorism. Bradley was in the Army attached to Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Ft. Bliss Texas. Bradley died May 29th 2009 from injuries sustained in Iraq.

On hand for the stop were Galloway’s Mayor, Don Purdy, Deputy Mayor, Tony Coppola and Commander of the Marine Corps Veterans Direct Action Team and Publisher of the Galloway Patriot, Chuck Knutson who held the American Flag as the runners addressed Laura Iorio.

The NJ Run For The Fallen runners salute Gold Star mother Laura Iorio as Galloway Patriot newspaper publisher Chuck Knutson and LCpl Taylor Spiers hold the runners flags
The NJ Run For The Fallen runners salute Gold Star mother Laura Iorio as Galloway Patriot newspaper publisher Chuck Knutson and LCpl Taylor Spiers hold the runners flags

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Galloway’s 9-11 Memorial Event Stirs Emotions

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50 MORE PHOTOS ADDED ON WEDNESDAY 9-14-2016 PLEASE TELL EVERYONE THAT ALREADY LOOKED!!!!!!!!

 

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Galloway’s 9-11 Memorial Event stirred emotions from the very start this year. This being the 15th anniversary of one the most tragic attacks in our Nation’s history, added even more solemnness to the ceremony. Galloway Fire Chief Amor “Skip” Portale was visibly shaken as he spoke of the tragedy. He and his department of dedicated fire fighters stood in full dress uniform on this day of remembrance. They reflected upon the nation’s loss as the “Four Fives” rang from the bell, a traditional bell signal used to honor a fallen fire fighter.

Galloway’s very sharp Police Honor Guard posted the colors as Boy Scout troop 634 led the assembled crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Howard, Donna Marie and Heather Berchtold sang our National Anthem and then the speakers made their remarks. The guest speaker, Brandon Wise, of the “Salvation Army” spoke of his experiences at Ground Zero.

The Absegami High School Choir led by Cheryl Breitzman sang beautifully as usual. The Atlantic City Fire Department Sandpiper Drum and Bugle performed multiple moving bagpipe driven instrumentals.

The Wreath ceremony included the children of first responders, Cayla and Madison Kirby of the Galloway Fire Department, Easton and Emmalene Vernon, of the Galloway Police Department, Dakota Gunsert and Keaden Cantz of Galloway’s Ambulance Squad and Connor Morrissey with Alexandra Hughes.

Anna Jezycki “Mrs. J”, who lost her niece on 9-11 fired a single volley from the “Jaime Lee”, the Galloway Patriot’s Civil War cannon to honor all those which we have lost. This was followed by Taps performed by Joe Ward and Heather Berchtold.

Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson, Mrs "J", and Lcpl Kyle Ragland place flag at 9-11 cross
Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson, Mrs “J”, and Lcpl Kyle Ragland place flag at 9-11 cross

Following Taps, Galloway Patriot newspaper publisher Chuck Knutson who is also Sgt. at Arms of “Last Salute Military Funeral Honor Guard”, along with Marine Lcpl Kyle Ragland, folded a flag which they then presented to Anna Jezycki “Mrs. J”. They then led Mrs. J to a table where she laid the flag in front of the 9-11 cross which is made of steel from the World Trade Center. It was such an emotional moment that the flag was later given to Mrs.J as a gift. Last Salute would normally keep the flag for future use but decided that Mrs. J should keep it. Parsel’s Funeral Home in Absecon has been very generous in providing Last Salute flags for events such as this.

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For those who did not attend, please view the over 50 photos below. If you have the time, visit the 9-11 Memorial at Patriot Lake.

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9 11 Heroes Run in Smithville – Over 300 Photos

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Local Galloway Fireman complete the Heroes Run in full gear
Local Galloway Fireman complete the Heroes Run in full gear

The Travis Manion 9-11 Heroes Run was held Saturday September 10th in Smithville. There was a great turnout with a large number of runners, guest speakers and a grand opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony started with the National Anthem sung by Fox News national correspondent, Kelly Wright. It also included remarks from Congressman Frank LoBiondo and Galloway Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola. The Colors were posted by a joint Galloway-EHT Police Honor Guard.

Fox News national correspondent Kelly Wright a long time friend of the Galloway Patriot, sings the National Anthem
Fox News national correspondent Kelly Wright a long time friend of the Galloway Patriot, sings the National Anthem

Galloway’s Fire Department rang the bell with the “four fives”, the traditional signal for when a fireman dies on duty. Following the bell, Last Salute Military Funeral Honor Guard comprised of the Marine Corps Veterans Direct Action Team and VFW Post 9462, fired three volleys from their rifles. Last Salute then played taps and Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson along with Lcpl Kyle Ragland folded the flag and symbolically placed it in front of the 9-11 cross made of steel from the World Trade Center.

Congressman Frank LoBiondo fires the cannon as Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson yells "FIRE"
Congressman Frank LoBiondo fires the cannon as Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson yells “FIRE”

The race started with the firing of the Galloway Patriot’s Civil War cannon, the “Jaime Lee”. The cannon was fired by Congressman Frank LoBiondo and the runners began.

The Galloway Patriot took over 300 photos. It was a great event and we would like to congratulate and thank all who participated. Special thanks to everyone that helped make the event so successful.

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We look forward to an even bigger event next year.

The Travis Manion 9-11 Heroes Run Medal Winners
The Travis Manion 9-11 Heroes Run Medal Winners

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Medal of Honor Recipients Visit Absecon VFW

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Medal of Honor recipients Tom Kelley and Brian Thacker visited the Absecon VFW for lunch while in town for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement event.  The VFW put out a very gracious spread with the help of Chef Elio from the Rams Head in Galloway.

While there, the Medal of Honor recipients signed the Galloway Patriot’s Humvee and trailer which are both used primarily for veterans funeral services as part of Last Salute the VFW Post 9462 Honor Guard.

There are 4 Medal of Honor recipient signatures in the Humvee.  We are extremely proud to have them to help us honor those we provide services for.

Dr. Nina of Fox News was there to meet the heroes and to thank everyone at the VFW for their service.

If you would like to help Last Salute provide services, please visit our GoFundMe page.

Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelley signs the Humvee for the Galloway Patriot
Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelley signs the Humvee for the Galloway Patriot

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