2016-05-25 / Columns

Every day is a day to honor the veterans who have sacrificed

STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
MARLA MEYERS
Executive Director, Jewish Family & Children’s Service

President Harry S. Truman once said, “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” While many years have passed since the days of President Truman, and some of the once muddied battlefields are now National Parks, it is our gratitude to veterans that truly keeps the memory of their fight and sacrifice for the United States alive.

That dedication to their memory was recently evidenced by an overwhelming feeling of pride, as nearly 100 individuals volunteered to place flags on the graves of 1,600 veterans at Locustwood Cemetery. The flags were placed in preparation for a state-sponsored Memorial Day Commemoration. Some volunteers came with their children, some came with significant others, some came alone, but all came to take time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by men and women in the military over the course of our nation’s history. These sacrifices have provided us with the freedoms that we have grown accustomed to.

Organizations from our area, such as the American Legion Post 372, the Cherry Hill Firefighters Union, Veterans Affairs, Jewish Relief Agency, and the Camden County Board of Freeholders, were there to offer their hearts and hands to this newly sponsored JFCS opportunity.

It is believed that the date for the Memorial Day holiday was selected because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. At Locustwood Cemetery, we witnessed respect and honor in bloom right here in Cherry Hill. The flags waved—the red, white and blue billowing in color within the green backdrop of the grass, planted firmly by caring hands. We were truly honored to be able to gather with fellow citizens to pay tribute to those that have passed on, by decorating their graves.

It is also imperative that we continue to care for those who served and are still with us. JFCS holds veterans, and their care, a top priority throughout the year. The agency assists veterans by supplying them food from our Betsy and Peter Fischer Food Pantries if they are in need, offering them transportation through our Take the Wheel Program so they can make it to their medical appointments, and connecting them with the critical resources and benefits to which they are entitled. For those who sacrifice so much, it is the very least we can do. The agency continues to plan future opportunities to serve our veterans and hopes to grow these initiatives even further.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of veterans’ services, please call us today at (856) 424-1333. If you’d like to donate food, or drive a veteran to his or her medical appointments, or become a friendly visitor for a veteran who is senior or homebound, please email Andi Loew at aloew@jfedsnj.org. mmeyers@jfedsnj.org

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