Memorial Day Ceremony to honor ‘hometown heroes’

The township’s Memorial Day Ceremony will take place on Monday, May 27 at 10:45 a.m. at the Cherry Hill Municipal Complex

The last Monday of May is a day for Americans to pause and remember those who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Cherry Hill Township’s annual Memorial Day ceremony is a chance to bring the message close to home by recognizing friends, family and neighbors who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s a nice way for the town to encourage the residents to show them the true meaning of Memorial Day and to honor the hometown heroes,” said Ericha Farrington, special events coordinator for the township’s recreation department.

The township’s Memorial Day ceremony will take place on Monday, May 27 at 10:45 a.m. at the Cherry Hill Municipal Complex. Both veterans and active-duty members of the military will be recognized by Mayor Chuck Cahn and township council. Capt. Louis Cavaliere of the Navy (retired) and Brigadier Gen. John DiNapoli of the Army (retired) will serve as the ceremony’s guest speakers.

This year’s ceremony is cohosted by the American Legion Post 372 and Jewish War Veterans Post 126. This year marks the 100-year-anniversary of the American Legion’s founding, and for that reason, the ceremony will “commemorate the legacy and vision of the American Legion over the past 100 years.”

DiNapoli said the Legion’s work and mission will factor heavily into his speech. DiNapoli spent 34 years in the military before retiring, and he said he’s always tried to stay involved in organizations that connect him with the military community. He became a trustee of the American Legion around five years ago when he was still a colonial.

“I was very impressed with the number of folks that come and participate,” DiNapoli said. “I think there’s a hunger for people to stay connected to the military.”

The organization is one of the oldest veterans organizations in the country, but many community members may not be aware of its existence or the work it’s doing, DiNapoli said. On Memorial Day, DiNapoli plans to make the community aware of the work they’re doing at Post 372. From ensuring that veterans are getting their proper benefits to providing high school students with scholarships, the group’s work runs the gamut.

DiNapoli said the 100-year anniversary recognition is a great way to shed light on the programs and drum up more support from the Cherry Hill community.

Fellow featured speaker Cavalerie currently serves as chairman of the board of the Chapel of Four Chaplains in the Philadelphia Navy Yard and on the board of the Philadelphia Maritime Academy Charter School. Cavaliere served during Operation Desert Storm and was awarded the Navy Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts directing loading operations and logistics. Cavalerie was unavailable for comment, but he will discuss the Chapel of the Four Chaplains’ work on Memorial Day.

The ceremony will also feature a musical tribute to the Armed Forces by the Cherry Hill Pine Barons Chorus. The public is invited to stay after the ceremony for lunch provided by Wegmans.

For more information on the ceremony, contact the Recreation Department at (856) 488-7868 orEvents@CHTownship.com. To find out more, or to join our Facebook event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2011448059163511.