Flags honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice as members of the United States Armed Forces will be remembered in all 40 Burlington County municipalities, thanks to an initiative led by Burlington County Clerk Tim Tyler.
Legislation enacted last year by Gov. Phil Murphy and the state Legislature designated the black Killed in Action (KIA) flag as an official state flag to honor those who died in any war or conflict in which the country was involved. The bill requires that the flag be displayed at the State House in Trenton and the principal building in each municipality and county.
“We are so fortunate here in Burlington County to be home to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and so many active duty members of the military, veterans, and their families,” Tyler said in a press release. “As our residents enter government buildings throughout the county, we should be reminded of the sacrifices that were made generations before us and are being made today for this great country. I am pleased to lead this initiative to bring proper Killed in Action flags to our county and municipal buildings, while at the same time helping to ensure compliance with state law.”
The KIA flag is now flying over the County Administration Building in Mount Holly and the County Department of Human Services Building in Westampton, where the county’s Veterans Office is located as well. The clerk’s office has been visiting all 40 town halls to personally deliver the flag to each municipality.
“It’s so important that we remember the service members in our community who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today,” Tyler said. “It’s unfortunate that this important legislation has mostly gone overlooked. I will continue to do all that I can to better serve the military, veterans and their families throughout Burlington County.”
With the KIA flag flown throughout Burlington County, it stands as just one of multiple efforts by Tyler to further recognize and help local military families. Recently, he worked to get the county to record discharge paperwork for veterans and provide a certified copy at no cost. He also worked alongside Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs in a public information movement to notify veterans that they are eligible for a new $3,000 exemption when filing their state income tax forms.
Tyler also joined other county clerks throughout the state in offering special Gold Star Parent identification cards at no cost to any parent who lost a child serving on active duty. The card provides access to various courtesies extended to military families, including free or reduced admission to New Jersey beaches, state parks and forests and the New Jersey State Museum.
The KIA flag can be identified by the silhouette of a service member beside a helmet on top of a firearm with a solid red backdrop.