Friday, September 16, 2016


The ceremony on September 16 will remember those missing in action, those returned and those still unaccounted for from our nation’s wars.

Holmdel, NJ (September 9, 2016) – The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Foundation will hold its annual POW/MIA Gold Star Mothers Recognition Day Ceremony on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ, on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center. The ceremony will honor America’s prisoners of war, those missing in action, those returned and those still unaccounted for from our nation’s wars.

Judith Tapper, President of New Jersey Gold Star Mothers, will be the guest speaker at the event. Judith lost her son, Navy Seal David Tapper, in Afghanistan in 2003.

The Gold Star Mothers provide support to American mothers who have lost children in the line of duty of the United States Armed Forces. They focus on providing emotional support to their members, volunteering with veterans and veteran’s hospitals, and fostering patriotism and respect for members of the Armed Forces. September 25, 2016 is National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Gold Star Mothers Day is the last Sunday of September.

Ken and Helen Gurbisz, who lost their son Jim in 2005 in Iraq, have been extremely active in the Gold Star Mothers organization and worked to erect a Gold Star Family Monument at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. The monument was dedicated September, 29, 2015.

“People don’t realize what happens when you suddenly lose a family member,” said Ken. “It’s important for all groups to bring attention to this for those who have suffered this tremendous loss.”

The POW/MIA Gold Star Mothers Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Memorial and is open to the public. John Ricker, a Trustee of the Foundation, will lead the ceremony and the color guard will be from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 12. Chaplain Joe Formola will give the invocation and benediction. Wreaths will be laid at the Memorial by various organizations.

Museum admission is free for all visitors on September 16. The museum is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at exit 116 in Holmdel, N.J. The museum was recently renovated with an update to the sepia mural, a timeline featuring iconic people and events that formed the fabric of America during the tumultuous Vietnam Era. Thanks to Governor Christie Todd Whitman, and her late husband John, as well as the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Foundation was able to replace the 20-year-old faded timeline with new technology that will last for 100 years.

The memorial is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free to visit. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the Memorial or Museum, please call 732- 335-0033 or visit

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