FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012
ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO ANNOUNCES PLANS TO DEVELOP VETERANS MEMORIAL IN GLENDALE CEMETERY IN BLOOMFIELD
Improvements to County-Owned Section of Cemetery will Create
Fitting Resting Place for Those who Served their Country
Bloomfield, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. was joined by about 20 members from the Disabled American Veterans Post 22 of Belleville and Nutley when he outlined plans on Tuesday, June 12th to modernize a section of Glendale Cemetery in Bloomfield that is owned by Essex County and provide a fitting resting place for the U.S. military veterans who are buried there. The renovations will create a veterans memorial in the cemetery and provide an area to host future memorial services or commemorations.
“It is a little known fact that Essex County owns a portion of Glendale Cemetery where veterans of the U.S. military branches are laid to rest. Just as we have named the Essex County Veterans Courthouse and developed the Essex County Veterans Memorial Park to honor the brave men and women who have served our country and put their lives at risk to protect our freedoms, we will create a memorial to honor the veterans who are buried in the cemetery,” DiVincenzo said. “The improvements we are making here will clearly identify the area as being a veterans resting place, give the men and women who are buried here the honor and respect they deserve, and provide their families and loved ones with a serene place to find comfort and solace,” he added.
“It is a pleasure to be part of this project and to be able to properly thank our veterans for what they have contributed to our country. I’m proud to work with Joe DiVincenzo and thank him for his leadership,” Freeholder Brendan Gill said.
Bloomfield Councilmen Michael Venezia and Elias Chalet also showed their support by attending the photo op. “This is such a great project and will be a fitting tribute to our service men and women,” Venezia said. “This is a special way to thank those who have served our country and I thank Joe DiVincenzo and the County for the memorial they are building,” Chalet said.
“If it was not for Joe DiVincenzo, we would not be standing here today,” DAV Post 22 Commander Joseph Fornoratto said. “Joe is a doer. He made a promise and he’s sticking to it,” he added.
“Cemeteries are actually places for the living to visit and find solace and comfort. Thanks to Joe DiVincenzo, we will have a magnificent tribute to our veterans in Glendale Cemetery,” Glendale Cemetery President Dennis DeCarlo said. “This will be a marvelous testament to the sacrifices our veterans made and a great addition to the cemetery,” he pointed out.
The new design of the veterans’ area in the cemetery will resemble a sundial to represent the passage of time and the fact that those who have served their country will not be forgotten. A 35-foot flag pole with an American flag will be at the center of the sundial and its shadow will touch seven shorter, 15-foot flag poles displaying flags from the seven branches of the military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Army National Guard and Air Force National Guard. The walking area around the flag poles will be constructed in granite and the shape of a star will be inserted in the middle to symbolize America and the Armed Forces. Located close to the center flag pole will be an “eternal garden” where families will be able to place ashes of their loved ones who served their country. In addition, there will be benches for people to sit and a bell that can be chimed during ceremonies. Existing concrete walkways leading to the center of the veterans’ area will be replaced with brown and red brick pavers – to signify earth and blood – and aisles of headstones will be marked to enable visitors to identify the rows more easily.
The project was designed by the French and Parrello Associates engineering firm from Wall, NJ. A competitively bid contract was awarded to Shauger Property Services from East Orange for $276,551 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Department of Public Works will monitor the project to answer questions and avoid delays. Funding for the improvements is being provided from the Essex County Capital Budget. Work is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2012.