New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation to Honor Military Service Members at Veterans Day Ceremony

Ceremony Special Guests include Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, and Keynote Speaker Chris McGowan, faculty member at the United States Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11 at the Memorial, 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, NJ. The event is open to the public, veterans, and their families.

Various organizations will lay wreaths as part of the ceremony, and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney will be in attendance and speak at the event.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Colonel Chris McGowan, originally from Woodbridge, NJ. McGowan currently serves as the faculty member at the United States Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1993, where he received his commission in the Corps of Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. McGowan also holds several master’s degrees from various institutions.

McGowan’s previous assignments include Platoon Leader, Battalion Maintenance Officer, and Company Executive Officer in the 23rd Engineer Battalion in Friedberg, Germany, Assistant Brigade S3, 1st Engineer Brigade in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and many other positions. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Sapper Tab, Army Staff Identification Badge, and Bronze Defleury Medal.

In Memory Program: Veterans from Across New Jersey Honored

During the ceremony, five veterans will be inducted into the foundation’s In-Memory Program, which honors those who served and later passed as a result of their tour. Those veterans to be inducted are James Burns of Spring Lake, Ralph Cook of Wall, Thomas Cullen of Toms River, Joseph Lopez of Haledon, and Patrick Palumbo of Elizabeth.

About Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a time to remember the sacrifices that all our members of the military have made to protect our freedom. Veterans Day, always recognized on November 11, was originally known as Armistice Day and honored the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. After the end of World War II and the Korean War, Congress officially changed the day to Veterans Day, to honor American veterans of all wars. In 2001, a resolution was passed to designate the week of November 11 National Veterans Awareness Week.

About New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation oversees the operation of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center. The memorial is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The museum and educational center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The memorial brings to New Jersey a fitting acknowledgment of the valor displayed by the New Jersey residents who never returned from Southeast Asia. It commemorates the courage shown by all who served and continue to serve in America‘s Armed Forces. Its companion project, the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, provides a means to present factual and unbiased information about the Era. For more information, visit

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