As November 11, Veteran's Day approaches, I want to salute and honor all of our veterans who sacrificed so much to keep our country free. Mayor Cunningham, a former Marine once taught me "A Marine Never leaves Anyone Behind." This is especially true of his relationship with Jersey City's veterans. Rather than have a press event honoring Veterans twice a year, Mayor Cunningham has established an Office of Veterans Affairs, located at City Hall, and named Purple Heart Veteran, Jaime Vasquez as Director. Because of Jaime's dedication, Veterans can receive assistance five days a week, with Jaime assisting them in a "more than full time" capacity. Because of him, no one is left behind.
As Director of Cultural Affairs, I worked with the veterans and the schools to bring veterans into over 30 schools to tell them the true meaning of Veteran's Day. I especially want to thank those veterans who participated in this year's program. Because of their generosity in sharing their experiences, over 5000 students learned the true importance of Veterans Day.
Last November, Mayor Cunningham named the foot of JerseyAvenue by Grand Street "Douglas and Arthur Skinner Memorial Drive" after two World War II veterans, two brothers who lost their lives the very same day. In December we had a Pearl Harbor commemoration, where we raised the flags of the various branches of the military. On Memorial Day, the Mayor named the City Hall Rotunda after John "Chuck" Meagher, a Medal of Honor recipient. We participated in five events that day. At the Vietnam Memorial event, the organizer said that Mayor Cunningham was the first Mayor to ever attend,.
I am very proud to be a part of Mayor Cunningham's administration and to be involved with assisting and honoring our fine Veterans. On November 10, I wish the Marines a Happy Marines Birthday. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I will give special thanks to all people who have served to help our country, and I urge everyone to join us in honoring these heroes.
God Bless our Veterans and God Bless America.
Joan Y. Eccleston
Director of Cultural and Heritage Affairs