Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

Hundreds Attend Memorial Day Ceremony in Gloucester County

South Jersey Times – Hundreds of people gathered at the Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Williamstown Sunday for the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Spectators watched as speeches were made and memories were shared of veterans who sacrificed their lives for the country. Wreaths were also laid by various organizations to honor those who lost their lives and have passed away.

At the end of the event, family members of people buried in the cemetery were given a carnation to place on the grave of their deceased loved one.
One of the people who gave a speech during the event was Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.)

“It’s a great honor to be part of this ceremony where we are honoring the veterans,” said Norcross. “This is a weekend that reflects on all the men and women that have given their lives for their country and made it able for us to be free and live with the liberties we have today.”

Another person who spoke during the event was New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

“If it weren’t for our men and women in the military, we would not have the country that we have today,” said Sweeney during the ceremony. “When you see a veteran, just say thank you. You don’t have to wait until Memorial Day Weekend.”

The ceremony also marked the debut of a monument dedicated to the D.J. Bentz Chapter 3335 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Part of the pageantry of the event involved the Semper Fidelis 204 Marine Detachment. One of the members of the Detachment who took participated in the event was James Karlesses.

“It’s quite an honor,” said Karlesses. “It’s an honor to be part of the Marine Corps and it’s an honor to be here today at this Memorial Day ceremony. It’s a very solemn affair. ”

Karlesses himself served the Marine Corps in the late 1970’s.

“It’s nice being here today. There were a lot of great folks out here today and it was made special by a lot of different organizations.”

Also highlighted was the announcement of a ceremony for Private Walter Piper. Piper, who was born and raised in Williamstown, was a Glassboro High School graduate in 1949. He was a member of the Army who was taken as a prisoner of war during the Korean Conflict on Feb. 13. 1951.

Piper later died June 18, 1951, from wounds he sustained. His remains were not identified until April of this year. Piper, who no longer has any living relatives, will be buried with full military honors Saturday, June 17 at 11 a.m.

District Offices

Gloucester County
Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752

Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808
Fax: (856) 339-9626

The Bridgeton Library Satellite Office
1st Tuesday of the month
3 pm - 5 pm
150 East Commerce Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Phone: 856-455-1011