By ROBERT LINNEHAN
The Cherry Hill Sun
Cherry Hill will be honoring the memories of fallen veterans again this year for its annual Memorial Day celebration at the Municipal Complex on Monday, March 31, from 11 a.m. to noon.
Mayor Bernie Platt, members of Council, and members of the American Legion Post 372 and Jewish War Veterans Furer-Barag-Wolf Post 126, Platt will remember and honor all of the fallen veterans that served before them. A special presentation will also be made to the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane — a Cherry Hill resident — who was killed in Afghanistan this past January.
Kane was shipped out to Afghanistan with his Marine unit this past October. He was killed in action when a suicide bomber attacked his unit.
Kane, 22, held a desire to join the armed forces after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, his mother said. But, he had always harbored an interest in the military as his father, Bruce, had served as a major in the army and received his medical education through the army. Unfortunately Bruce died in June 2008 while Kane was receiving his Marine training.
He announced his intentions after graduating from Cherry Hill East High School in 2006.
“On June 23, 2008, U.S. Army Capt. Gregory Dalessio, 30 — a Knollwood resident and faithful congregant of St. Peter Celestine Church — who was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was killed in Iraq,” Platt said. “On Jan. 23 of this year, Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane Kane, 22 — a criminal justice major at Rutgers-Camden and 2006 graduate of Cherry Hill High School East — who served in the Marines’ 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, was killed in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.”
Congressman John Adler will be the event’s keynote speaker. A special barbeque lunch — sponsored by Shoprite Supermarkets of Cherry Hill and NJ American Water — will be provided for all attendees after the ceremony.
Sam Podietz of the Jewish War Veterans Furer-Barag-Wolf Post 126 said the group would be presenting the Kane family with a gold star flag for the Veterans sacrifice.
“The township has chosen to honor the lives of these fallen soldiers by dedicating local parks to their heroism, integrity and codes of honor. In 2008, Ivy Lane Park was renamed for Capt. Dalessio, and plans are in the works to name a park this year for Lance Cpl. Kane,” Platt said. “Every day, the proud men and women of our great military risk their lives to complete their mission and protect American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This truly hits home when cherished members of our own community perish while upholding and defending these values, such as these young residents did.”
The township also announced — in conjunction with its Memorial Day event — that resident and decorated U.S. Army veteran Randle K. LeSure is taking on the volunteer position of Veterans Affairs Liaison. This post was filled for several years by attorney Eric Spevak.
The township’s Veterans Affairs Liaison works closely with the mayor’s office, recreation department, and Township Council to ensure that the community’s veterans are represented, spotlighted, and engaged with the Township. LeSure will also serve as a conduit between Town Hall and Cherry Hill’s military-veteran population — as well as active-duty troops — in planning events, memorials and fund raisers.