Upcoming Events

6th Annual Dinner Dance/Gift Auction
Saturday October 12, 2019
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Amvets Post #2 - Jackson
1290 Toms River Road
Jackson, NJ
Advertising Opportunities Available

9th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony
November 11, 2019
11:00 AM
At The Memorial Garden
Intersection of Commodore Blvd and Jackson Mills Road
Jackson, NJ

Featured Articles

Resident discovers a fitting way to honor veterans

Would you like to honor and acknowledge a veteran in your life? My wife and I recently found a wonderful and rewarding way to do that by donating to the Veterans Memorial Garden.

The memorial garden will be at the intersection of Jackson Mills Road and West Commodore Boulevard in Jackson.

We recently purchased two dedicated pavers in honor of family members who served in the United States armed forces. We received two beautiful certificates for our donation and are planning to give them as gifts to our special family members.

We understand that the memorial garden is to honor and pay tribute to all military veterans from all over the country who served in any of the branches of the United States armed forces. We were also told that the project will be funded entirely by donations.

The memorial was the idea of Charlie Garofano and Ken Bressi, who are both veterans and served in Vietnam. Mr. Garofano said, “The purpose of the memorial garden is to honor those who have served, to encourage and foster patriotism, and to recognize all veterans for their courage and willingness to give all for their country.”

My wife and I felt privileged to be able to support this memorial, and it gave us a way to say “thank you,” not only to our family members, but to all our veterans.

If you go to their website at www.jacksonvetsmemorial.com you can find other ways to contribute to this meaningful project. You may also call 732-833-2493 or 732-928-4879. My wife and I hope this letter will encourage others to participate as we did in honoring our country’s veterans.

Pat McNamarra Jackson
AUGUST 4, 2011

Plans for veterans memorial under way


JACKSON — Plans to construct a veterans memorial garden with a statue that will pay tribute to all of Jackson's military veterans are in the development stage.

In late October a committee was established by Mayor Mark Seda to put plans for a veterans memorial garden into action.

Charles Garofano is the chairman of the committee and Kenneth Bressi is the vice chairman. Both men are veterans of the Vietnam War. The committee will have representatives from Veterans of Foreign War Post 4703, American Legion Post 504, AMVETS, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

"This type of memorial is long overdue in Jackson," Seda said. "Over the years thousands of township residents have proudly served our country, and we want to show them our appreciation."

Since August 2007, Garofano and Bressi have been meeting with an artist to design a monument with a surrounding garden that will honor all five branches of the U.S. armed forces: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

During the past year, a parcel of township owned land near Jackson Mills Lake at the intersection of Jackson Mills Road and East Commodore Boulevard was identified as a suitable location for the veterans memorial. The project is expected to be funded entirely by donations and grants from the public and private sectors.

Seda said, "Charlie and Ken have put together a very special project that will make Jackson residents proud. Their enthusiasm is infectious. With these two men leading the committee, the veterans memorial garden will surely be a success."

Bressi, who chairs the Jackson Planning Board, said at this point there is land and a design for the memorial.

"We now have to start the building project approval process and fundraising," he said. "I just want the public to know this park is dedicated to all veterans, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, regardless of which war they served in. It will not be for any particular war. It will be located by the lake where people can come to meditate, and it gives us a place to recall all veterans who have served."

Garofano said the committee's goal is to have the veterans memorial garden completed and open in three years. Anyone wishing to volunteer to assist on this project may reach Garofano at 732-833-2493.


Pavers will be sold to honor veterans

Plans call for construction of memorial in Jackson
Staff Writer

“In June 2007 we came up with the idea as we were riding through Matawan,” said Charles Garofano, president of the Veterans Memorial Garden Inc. “I saw an old memorial at Broad and Main streets and there was a statue of a WorldWar II veteran, and behind that there was a wall divided in half, half for the Korean War veterans who lived in Matawan and half for the Vietnam veterans who lived in town,”

Garofano, a U.S. Army veteran, said he thought the idea of a divided memorial or separate memorials did not make sense.

With that thought in mind, he devised an idea for a Jackson memorial to honor all veterans.

“This is for all veterans who served in the armed forces from day one to the current time and also into the future,” he said of the monument being planned. Organizers are preparing to sell pavers at the memorial that will honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

Jackson Township Councilman Ken Bressi, who is the vice president of the Veterans Memorial Garden Inc., described the plan for the memorial near Jackson Mills Lake at the intersection of Jackson Mills Road and West Commodore Boulevard.

“We plan on constructing the memorial in phases,” Bressi said. “On the right side as you approach the memorial, there will be a pentagon shaped area which will have the American flag, the New Jersey State flag, the township flag and the POW-MIA flag.”

Bressi, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said he hopes to raise the flags on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

The next step after that will be to have the flagpoles constructed for the flags honoring branches of the military.

Following that, the remainder of the memorial will be constructed.

Benches will be available for purchase to honor individuals.

Several thousand pavers are expected to be available at a cost of $135 each. Each paver can hold three lines of up to 16 characters.

“We had a lady who called us already who said she did not know a veteran. She asked if she could donate a paver to all veterans. Now, that’s heartwarming,” Bressi said.

“I have to stress that this is not for any one war or era. This is for every person who has ever served in our armed forces and is a veteran today and will be a veteran tomorrow.

“Many military personnel have to move their families around the country or even around the world. This is for all who have served this country and for all who have been there who have allowed us to have peace,” Bressi said. “All gave some and some gave all.”

Donations can be made by check, money order, credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or online with PayPal.

Garofano said the purpose of the memorial garden is to honor those who have served, to encourage and foster patriotism, and to recognize all veterans for their courage and willingness to give all for their country.

The Veterans Memorial Garden Inc. is a 501(c)3 corporation, and all donations are taxdeductible to the full extent allowed by law. For further information, visit the website at www.jacksonvetsmemorial.com or call Charles Garofano at 732-833-2493 or Ken Bressi at 732- 928-4879, or send an email for a paver request form to info@jacksonvetsmemorial.com.

Plans for veterans memorial advance

Staff Writer

JACKSON — Plans to build a memorial to Jackson residents who have served in the armed forces took a step forward recently.

Representatives of the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Garden Inc. came before the Planning Board to share their plans for the memorial. The board issued a courtesy approval for the memorial in a unanimous vote.

The board’s engineer, Doug Klee, said the memorial will be constructed on municipal property on West Commodore Boulevard and Jackson Mills Road. An existing parking lot and an existing connection to a county road will be used.

Klee said the project involves bench seating, 25-foot-tall poles, memorial pavers, 2-foot-tall cultured stone walls, and various tree and shrub plantings. He said there were no engineering issues and said a lease agreement has been established with the township.

Township Councilman Ken Bressi, who sits on the Planning Board, is the vice president of the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Garden Inc., a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Bressi said the organization has a 50-year lease for the property at a cost of $1 a year to the township.

“The memorial is dedicated to all veterans who have served,” Bressi said. “It is not for any one war or one service. It is here to honor all veterans.”

Bressi thanked the engineers and everyone else who has been involved with the project so far. He said 2011 will be a busy year moving forward with the memorial.

Landscape architect Michael Piga, of French and Parello, described the property that has been selected as the home of the memorial as being on a triangular-shaped corner with Jackson Mills Lake in the background. The memorial will consist of a 19.5-foot-tall structure that will be about 31 feet long, he said.

Piga said the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force will be honored at the memorial. The flags of the United States, New Jersey and Jackson Township will fly on flagpoles.

There will be a 2-foot-tall cultured stone wall with colors representing fallen heroes and what they fought for, Piga said. The architect said no trees will be removed from the site, but the area will be spruced up and some trees will be pruned.

The American flag will be lit 24 hours a day, but Bressi said the lighting will not be intrusive. The councilman said he would look into having Jackson Mills Lake cleaned up.

Charles Garofano, president of the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Garden Inc., thanked the board members for their support.

“Probably a year or two from now you will all look back on this,” he said. “This will be an absolutely gorgeous park, and for all the right reasons.”

Garofano said anyone wishing to make a donation to the memorial can mail a check made out to the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Garden Inc. to the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Garden, P.O. Box 1499, Jackson, NJ 08527. For more information, call 732-833-2493.

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