Freedom Park; Medford Township in Burlington County, New Jersey has developed its Freedom Park recreation site into a spectacular series of remembrances for those servicemen and women who served our nation in wartime and made the ultimate sacrifice. Seen here in an aerial view in anticipation of Memorial Day 2019 and the dedication of monuments to honor Burlington County residents who served in world War II and the Korean War, Freedom Park is resplendent in appearance. The Medford Sunrise Rotary erected a Flags of Honor display 0f 200 American Flags each dedicated to a service member who served or was lost on the battlefield. Medford township added five flagpoles to the display representing all of our services. The Burlington County Memorial Monument Commission designed, procured and erected monuments to world War II and Korean War Service and a special Battlefield Cross. These splendid structures join the impressive array of monuments in the Park which include World War I, Vietnam Wall and for wars after Vietnam. The field as seen in this video is ready for the monument dedication ceremony scheduled for noon on Memorial Day. It would be a remarkable collaborative effort spearheaded by Medford Township and the Monument Commission and including participation from local community.
The Medford VFW Post Memorial Day weekend ceremonial odyssey begins on Saturday morning with the Tabernacle parade. Our ceremonial unit is comprised of the Post Commander, Chaplain, Color Guard, Firing Party and Bugle Team. We form up at the Junior Mechanics Cemetery on Carranza Road, review basic rifle and ceremonial procedures as shown in the overhead video and await the arrival of the parade which begins in the Seneca High School parking lot. When the parade reaches the cemetery, we conduct our basic service, a prayer by the Chaplain, a rifle salute and the playing of Taps. Our ceremonial unit then leads the parade into the Tabernacle Municipal Building parking lot for the official memorial ceremony.
This video continues the story of the Medford VFW Post Ceremonial Unit at Saturday’s Tabernacle Parade with the ceremony in town which included a wreath laying. It then follows to a series of cemetery visits containing veterans’ graves in Tabernacle, Medford and Lumberton. By the end of the day, we had conducted memorial services at one parade and seven cemeteries. Early Sunday morning, the Post Ceremonial Unit began a 70-mile ceremonial loop that included stops in Medford, Chatsworth, Speedwell, a parade in Indian Mills and the Grace Baptist Church at Atsion. The video captures the serenity of these places of rest in different settings. At Tabernacle and Atsion, church congregations poured forth from their places of worship to join the parade and their clergy presented the convocation and benediction. A parade and six cemetery services were completed on Sunday. On Monday, Memorial Day, the Medford VFW Post Ceremonial Unit led the Annual Medford Memorial Day Parade and conducted a service at the town monument on Main Street. The parade then proceeded to Freedom Park for the monument dedication ceremony conducted by Medford Township and the Burlington County Memorial Monument Commission. The Post was heavily involved in the ceremony, providing the Master of Ceremonies, student patriotic essay presenter Jimmy Capiris, Color Guard, Firing Party, featured speaker and the appearance of two World War II veterans. Mr. Fred Hartman 95 years old, from Leisuretown, landed in Normandy on D-Day plus 3 and fought across Europe with Second Armored Division. Mr. Edwyn Machaloski, 94 years old, from Tabernacle, fought in France and the Pacific Theatre of Operations. The ceremony included unveiling of the new monuments, laying of wreaths and the addition of the names of three servicemen to the monument honoring those who lost their lives after Vietnam. The Post completed this momentous day with a service at the Post Home for our members and guests. Throughout this weekend you could not have failed to notice the splendid participation of volunteer members of the Seneca High School Air Force Junior ROTC Detachment. Their appearance, military bearing and proficiency firing their rifles were something to behold. Our deepest gratitude to our participants, the towns which hosted us and the spectators who did not let distractions keep them from these patriotic observances.