Borough of Palmyra to award local veterans with military service medals

The Veterans Day ceremony will be held at the Palmyra War Memorial

The Palmyra War Memorial Committee will be holding a Veterans Day ceremony to hand out medals to Palmyra residents who served our country. The ceremony will be held on Veterans Day — Friday, Nov. 11 — at 11 a.m at the Palmyra War Memorial, located at the intersection of Cinnaminson and Parry avenues.

At the ceremony, the committee will be presenting military service medals to Palmyra residents who served in the military and requested a medal. The medals were minted especially for veterans who are residents of Palmyra.

Medals will also be presented to the surviving next-of-kin to service members who lost their lives while serving in the military.

The American Legion donated 200 medals to the borough to be distributed to local veterans. The committee held the first medal distribution ceremony of the year on Memorial Day, where it gave out approximately 40 medals.

In the past, the medals have been presented at a borough council meeting. Tom McElwee, president of the War Memorial Committee, decided the ceremony should be held on Veterans Day, and not as an add-on to an already existing meeting.

“As a veteran, I believe that you should do it on Veterans Day — not at the borough council meeting,” McElwee said.

McElwee added the ceremony is open to all members of the community, not just veterans and their families. Community members are encouraged to witness the community’s veterans be honored for their service.

The War Memorial Committee isn’t just in charge of handing out medals. It also oversees the upkeep and protection of the Palmyra War Memorial.

The Palmyra War Memorial honors the 32 men from Palmyra who died in service between 1918 and 2010. The memorial also includes brass plates that list of the names of 1,196 men and women from Palmyra who served in the armed forces in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Bosnia, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

The committee also has a statue to be unveiled at the memorial site. This “Boots, Helmet and Rifle” statue was purchased to honor the fallen heroes of Palmyra.

McElwee says he thinks recognizing the veterans of the community is extremely important. As a Vietnam veteran, McElwee experienced firsthand the reality that not all veterans get the warm welcome they deserve upon arriving home.

“It’s just our way of keeping everybody attuned to the fact that we care about the veterans, and this is our way of thanking them,” McElwee said.

All medals will be personally presented; they will not be mailed. To request a medal, veterans are asked to complete the application on the borough website. If your name already appears on the Palmyra War Memorial or you have already provided your name and discharge papers to the committee, you just need to provide your name and contact information via email to militaryservicemedal@boroughofpalmyra.com or by calling Marie at (856) 829–6100 ext. 130.