Veterans, municipal and state officials, and patrons gathered at the Bordentown Township Senior Center for a special ceremony to honor military veterans this year.
On the morning of Nov. 9, the Bordentown Township Municipality served as the host to its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the township senior center on Municipal Drive to acknowledge the area’s local war heroes. The morning’s processions included multiple speeches by township and state officials, veterans, as well as a Presentation of the Colors ceremony, an honorary flag folding, a wreath laying by the Boy and Girl Scouts, and a proclamation presentation for this year’s township “Home Town Hero.”
As part of his welcome speech to the audience of more than 50 people gathered for the ceremony, Bordentown Township Mayor Stephen Benowitz acknowledged the municipality’s Veterans Advisory Committee for their efforts to host annual events like this to honor local veterans. The township mayor also noted programs offered to soldiers who transition back into communal life from their service, and encouraged people to honor those who have served.
“My theme is to say, ‘Leave no man or woman behind,’” Benowitz said. “I encourage all of us to participate and honor the saying in our daily lives especially when it comes to the men and women who made this country the land of the free because of the brave.”
Following several more introduction speeches and comments, which included acknowledgments from Sen. Troy Singleton, Assemblywoman Carol A. Murphy, and keynote speaker for the event, Robert S. Dutko, Sr., Brigadier General, United States Air Force (USAF) Retired.
During his speech, Dutko shared his experiences in the USAF and New Jersey Air National Guard for 42 years, his gratefulness to the community for its efforts to honor its local veterans and discussed multiple assistance programs offered to veterans in the state.
“This is evidence to the care and honor that [Bordentown] provide to the veterans of the town,” Dutko said. “We must honor and respect veterans, and continue to do everything in our power to ensure we never forget their dedication and service to this great country of ours.”
Following Dutko’s address to the crowd, the Bordentown Township Police Department Honor Guard conducted a Flag Folding Ceremony to represent the religious principles on which the country was originally founded. As part of the ceremony, members of the police department folded the flag 13 times to symbolize the various principles.
Later on in the event, Benowitz approached the podium again to announce and proclaim the annual “Home Town Hero” selection on behalf of the township. Receiving the annual honor at the event was Richard “Doc” J. Carson, a veteran and Bordentown Township resident.
Carson was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and served in the 4th Division of the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1970 as a combat medic. During his tenure, Carson received a Combat Medic Badge and was awarded a Bronze Star. Alongside his service in the military, Carson also served on the Bordentown Township Committee for nine years and was mayor in 1985 and 1995. He also served on the township planning board and currently serves on the Bordentown Township Veterans’ Advisory Committee.
Benowitz proclaimed Carson as this year’s selection for the township honor to recognize his service to the country and the community.
As part of the acknowledgement, Carson addressed the audience to discuss the importance of veterans getting involved in their community after their service.
After Carson’s speech, members of the Bordentown Boy Scout Troop 13 and Bordentown Girl Scouts participated in a Wreath Laying Ceremony, then followed by a vocal performance of “God Bless America” by Andrew Reiman, and a benediction by Deacon Tom Shea.