HOLMDEL, N.J. (PIX11) — Not lost on U.S. Army veteran John Little are the small gestures that add up: a handshake followed by those five words veterans long to hear: “thank you for your service.”
“This is my day,” said Little. “Makes me feel good when they say that.”
Veterans Day in New Jersey was marked at the Vietnam Era Museum in Holmdel.
Gov. Phil Murphy, veterans and historians took time to recognize the service and sacrifice of the Garden State’s vets. According to census data, New Jersey is home to more than 300,000 veterans.
“To all who have proudly donned the uniforms of service, answered one of the highest callings as American citizens, and have protected the ideals and values of our nation and our free society, we say once again, thank you,” said Murphy.
The weather brought the annual ceremony inside to the Vietnam Era Museum for the first time, a chance for veterans who have never made the trip there to take in an important chapter of their history.
“So many were drafted, so many were volunteered, there’s no one way into Vietnam,” said Mike Thornton, curator of the museum and interim executive director. “Those stories are told here, and we’re dedicated to preserving that legacy for future generations to come.”
Whether you served in wartime or in peacetime, Veterans Day is your time.
“Freedom is not free,” said Selina Kanowitz, commander of the Jewish War Veterans Department of New Jersey. “Vietnam veterans, and everyone that was involved in every single war, men and women, fight for this country, and patriotism is very, very important.”