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Date: May 19, 2008

Picatinny dedicates memorial to fallen New Jersey service members

Picatinny dedicates memorial to fallen New Jersey service members
Ceremony Slide Show
Ceremony Gallery
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny unveiled a tree memorial honoring all New Jersey-connected service members who have lost their lives during the Global War on Terrorism during a ceremony here May 17.

Invited guests, including family members of the fallen service members, attended the ceremony.

The tree memorial, which is on Picatinny grounds, consists of red oak trees planted along various locations in memory of the fallen heroes.

The installation planted 119 trees to represent those New Jersey service members who have died through 2007. Nearly 50 families of those military personnel attended the event.

"This is our way of remembering those who have paid the ultimate price fighting the war on terrorism," explained Picatinny Garrison Commander Lt. Col. John P. Stack.

A red oak has been dedicated to each service member and an inscribed plaque with the service member's name, rank and hometown is located in front of each tree.

The red oak was selected for the memorial because it is the state tree of New Jersey.

The dedication ceremony began with a formal observance including remarks from Picatinny Commanding General Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips.

Other speakers were New Jersey's Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Additionally, the event included a color guard, the Picatinny Chorus and a bagpipe salute.

Afterward, guests had the opportunity to tour the memorial sites and visit their service members' trees. Following the visit to the sites, family members attended a special reception.