At the ceremony, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will present scholarships to New Jersey high school seniors Michael Lehman of Leonia High School in Leonia and Dylan Flynn of Watchung Hills Regional High School in Watchung. The Foundation will also induct four Vietnam veterans into the Memorial’s “In Memory” Program, which honors those who served in Vietnam, returned home, and later died as a result of their tour but whose names are not on the Memorial. The inductees are Thomas J. Gorski, Jr. of Kearny, Richard Hull of Toms River, Thomas J. Kelley of Sayreville, and Stanley C. Slusarz of Holmdel.
Guest speaker Governor Christine Todd Whitman is the President of The Whitman Strategy Group (WSG), a consulting firm that specializes in helping leading companies find innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Governor Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January of 2001 until June of 2003. She was the 50th Governor of the State of New Jersey, serving as its first woman governor from 1994 until 2001. She is the author of a 2005 New York Times best seller, “It’s My Party Too.” Governor Whitman serves on the Board of Directors of S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and United Technologies Corporation. Governor Whitman serves a number of non-profit organizations including heading the Trustees’ Executive Committee of the Eisenhower Fellowships. She co-chairs Clean and Safe Energy (CASE) with Ambassador Ron Kirk and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Security Project and the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.
Governor Whitman’s support for the Memorial was immediate, marked by her inaugural committee’s $25,000 donation. Governor Whitman’s husband John, a Vietnam Veteran, stepped forward and quickly to organize a committee of business leaders, and in six short weeks raised the funds needed to complete the Memorial. The plan was to dedicate the Memorial on May 7, 1995 to coincide with the 20th anniversary commemorating the end of the Vietnam War. On September 27, 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman joined a large crowd to dedicate the Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center.
The Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center, located adjacent to the Memorial, will be open to the public free of charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about the Memorial or Museum, call (732) 335-0033 or visit www.njvvmf.org.
About New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation offers a meaningful and engaging experience that recognizes the sacrifice, courage and valor of Vietnam Veterans and encourages and fosters a thorough understanding of the Vietnam Era including the political, historical, social, cultural and military aspects, which affected the United States, and especially New Jersey. To support the Foundation, visit www.njvvmf.org.