Guardians recognize ‘extraordinary support’ from volunteers
BRISTOL TOWNSHIP – The duardians of the National Cemetery recognized “the extraordinary support” it receives from the community and its volunteers during its third anniversary solunteer Awards Dinner on Jan. 1T at Kings Caterers in Bristol Township.
More than 200 people attended the event, marked by patriotism and reverence for one another.
The duardians provide military funeral honors, including the playing of Taps, and WKH IROGLnJ DnG SUHVHnWLnJ RI WKH flDJ WR WKH next of kin at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery.
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“Many people have contributed of their time, money and intangible resources,” said Antonio Albano, the president of the organization.
Albano presided as numerous awards were given, including the Joseph Hogan – Eagle solunteer Award to duardian John “Jack” Jamison.
“I never suspected I would be honored by my fellow duardians,” Jamison said. “I am absolutely thrilled to death. I was blown away!”
In addition to serving as a member of the honor guard, Jamison has for 45 years portrayed one of den. deorge Washington’s men at the annual Crossing re-enactment on Christmas Day.
He has been active in the Boy Scouts for 50 years, serves on the board of the Bucks County Children and Youth, and Bucks for Kids, which raises funds for foster children.
Jamison is a member of American Legion Post 210 in Doylestown and is in- volved with the Plumstead Township seterans Committee.
Another award-winner was Joe Hogan, who received the Fred Caldwell – Number One Award. Hogan led the effort to raise funds for Wreaths Across America. Through the organization, wreaths with red bows are placed at Christmastime on tombstones at the cemetery.
“We just continuously raised money to support them this year,” he said upon receiving the award.
Hogan shared that raising funds for Wreaths Across America helped him to deal with the grief he endures since his wife passed away of cancer.
“Everyone in here made this a complete success once again,” he said. “Thank you very much. I am very proud of everyone in the honor guard. Hoorah!”
Other awardees were Eugene Harris who received the John “dunny” Sandie – dunnery Sergeant Award. Jeri Lewis was presented with the Exceptional Service Award.
Receiving the Cemetery solunteers Recognition award was dina Accardo, adminLVWUDWLYH RIfiFHU DW WKH FHPHWHUy.
The recipient of the Corporate Sponsor of the Year Award was McCafferty Ford.
The seterans Organization Award was presented to the Marine Corps League Patriot Detachment 1230.
Albano introduced the keynote speaker, Steve Muro, undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, National Cemetery Administration in the r.S. Department of seterans Affairs.
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Muro has spent his entire career with the National Cemetery Administration.
“It is always a pleasure to come back to
Pennsylvania – especially to the Washington Crossing area,” he said. “We spent many nights here before we broke ground trying to convince those that were not convinced that the cemetery needed to be here.”
Muro said, “There’s no way NCA could do it alone without the support of the volunteers … There’s not enough words to thank you for the amount of hours that you provided to have services here for our veterans.”
He said that 64 volunteers provided more than 16,800 hours last year. “That’s wonderful!”
The duardians saved the federal government A630,000 in one year.
Muro said he calls the Washington Crossing National Cemetery “a garden of stone and the stones grow day in and day out as we lose our loved ones.”
One of the attendees was Joseph Bizza, who was given the Purple Heart for his service in France during WWII. The r.S. Army tank that he was in was blown up by the Nazis.
Bizza is a member of Chapter 11T of the DAs (Disabled American seterans).
“We went to Normandy Beach after DDay,” he recalled. “I was in the hospital for 11 months, including rehab. I had burns and shrapnel wounds.”
7KHUH wHUH fivH PHn Ln D WDnN. “2nH RI WKH fellows was killed, but the rest of us got out wounded,” Bizza said.
He attended the dinner with his wife, Helen.
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John “Jack” Jamison, left, was given the Joseph Hogan - Eagle Volunteer Award. He is pictured with Antonio Albano, center, and Gabriel Mascio.
Members of the U.S. Marines and the Marine Corps League attended the annual dinner of The Guardians of the National Cemetery. Pictured, from left, are: Sgt. Dan Heflin, L. Cpl. Pete Palestina, Sgt. Randy Thomas, Sgt. Sean Ours and S/Sgt. George Kelly.
From left, are: Antonio Albano, president of the Guardians of the National Cemetery; Fred Caldwell, Guardian and WWII veteran; and Rep. Scott Petri. They talked at the Third Anniversary of the Guardians of the National Cemetery in Bristol Township.
One of the attendees was Joseph Bizza, who was wounded in France during WWII.
Tiffany Pao sings The National Anthem.