Posted Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Morris County’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, sponsored by the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was conducted Friday, May 23 at noon in Morristown.  The ceremony can be viewed at

The keynote speaker was Army veteran Harry Ettlinger of Rockaway Township, one of the original Monument Men of WW II, a group of approximately 350 men and women from 13 nations that worked tirelessly to recover and return cultural treasures that were stolen by the Nazis.

The ceremony also featured the freeholders presenting the Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medal to 10 Morris County veterans in recognition of their service to our nation.

Individuals who were honored with medals during the ceremony were Army veterans Kimberley Ike of Mt. Olive, Dwight David Eisenhower Wallace of Morristown, Luis Maldonado of Morris Plains, Frank Misurelli of Dover and Brandon Ashby of Morristown.

Marine veterans who received medals were Sean P. Abrusci of Succasunna, Mario Monaco of Fairfield, and Eric Kowal of Dover.

Also receiving medals were Navy veteran Charles E. Johnson of Randolph and Coast Guard veteran Ron Wenzel of Lincoln Park.

New Jersey U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Morris County Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen were in attendance and congratulated the veterans on their service.

The county’s Distinguished Service Medal is unique to Morris County and features the county seal encircled with the words, “Morris County Distinguished Military Service,” on the front. An outline of the county and the American flag is on the back of the medal, along with the words, “Morris County Freeholders Military Commemorative.”

Each medal’s striped ribbon is the color of the specific conflict during which the veteran served.

Since the freeholders began the program in 2000, more than 9,000 medals have been presented to veterans or to their family members.

More information about the Distinguished Medal program can be obtained from the Morris County Veterans Service Office at 973-285-6866.