Burlington County will hold in-person Memorial Day ceremony

The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park in Burlington Township.

The Burlington County Board of Commissioners and the county office of Military and Veteran’s Affairs will join with area elected officials, veterans and residents from across the county on Sunday to honor and remember those who have given their lives in service to our country. 

The Burlington County Memorial Day Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 30, at Veterans Memorial Park, adjacent to the Burlington Township Municipal Complex on Old York Road, and will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The ceremony will feature wreath presentations and a keynote address by Col. Kent L. Milliken, a retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserve and New Jersey Army National Guard. He is a Board member and trustee for the New Jersey Friends of the Guard and Reserve and a consultant to several nonprofits and veteran-owned businesses that support the employment and transition of military veterans.

Commissioner Deputy Director Dan O’Connell will also deliver remarks on behalf of the Board of Commissioners. 

“For the heroes we honor, their service was the ultimate meaning of the word. Many of them laid down their very lives in the defense of our nation and our people,” O’Connell said. “We cannot repay these heroes or their loved ones for all they have given and lost. But just as those we memorialize felt duty-bound to give all, we too have a solemn duty to remember these men and women and honor them.” 

The County ceremony is held on May 30 every year in recognition of the holiday’s origin in 1868 when General John A. Logan, a leader of Northern Civil War Veterans, first called for a national day of remembrance for those who died in defense of the country. 

The holiday continued to be officially observed every May 30th – no matter what day of the week the date fell on — until 1971 when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect and made Memorial Day a three-day weekend for federal employees.

Residents are invited to attend Sunday’s in-person ceremony. Last year’s ceremony was virtual and broadcast online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The past 14 months have been a challenging one for all of us,” O’Connell said. “Last year, the pandemic required us to hold this ceremony in a virtual space, but

we’re grateful that conditions have improved so that we can now hold this important remembrance in-person as we have done for several years now.”

 Media are invited to cover Sunday’s ceremony, but are requested to RSVP to the Burlington County Public Information Office by emailing news@co.burlington.nj.us or dlevinsky@co.burlington.nj.us.