This is the second ceremony since the county established the Distinguished Service Medal program last year, and is part of a program to eventually honor all those who served their country.
"Medals for World War II service will be presented to those veterans who were discharged honorably and who served between Dec. 7, 1941 and Dec. 31, 1946," said former Freeholder Barry Dugan, who when still a freeholder was instrumental in establishing the program in Hudson County.
Dugan - a former U.S. Marine - said he asked the county to institute the program because many veterans never got the recognition they deserved. While awards exist for combat veterans on various levels of state and government, the county medal is given to any veteran who served.
Dugan said, "We need to show these people that we appreciate what they have done in serving our country."
While the county intends to honor all veterans, World War II and Korean vets are given priority because many are aging. Most Korean vets are over 70. Most World War II vets are over 80. For this reason, the county will give the medals to the older veterans first and later to the younger veterans.
While many of the current service people are honored for their roles in conflict, some of those who served in previous years were not, Dugan said, calling them forgotten veterans who the county is seeking to remember through this program.
"The community needs to recognize the contributions of veterans - combat era or not - and this is one way we can do it," Dugan said.
On July 11 at 5 p.m., 89 Hudson County residents will receive the medals.
"In the near future we will schedule Korean War veterans as well as Vietnam veterans," Dugan said.
The Korean War Medal will be given to those who served between June 23, 1950 and Jan. 31, 1955.
The Vietnam Medal will be given to those who served between Dec. 31, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
"Upon completion of these three groups of veterans, the program will be extended to veterans of other conflicts as well as to our peacetime veterans who served our nation," Dugan said.
Applications are available from all veterans' organizations in Hudson County or can be requested by writing for an application to: Veterans Service Medals, County of Hudson, 567 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07306 or by calling (201) 795-6007. Questions regarding this program may be referred to Barry Dugan, director of veterans affairs. Al Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com