(TRENTON)- Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John J. Burzichelli and Wayne P. DeAngelo to create a New Jersey Cold War medal cleared an Assembly panel today.
The sponsors note the Cold War as a long and costly struggle between the forces of freedom and democracy led by the United States and the forces of communism led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Cold War started after World War II and ended with the collapse of the government of the Soviet Union in December of 1991. Tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and air force personnel served during this period of crisis and struggle. Some paid with their lives to protect the freedom and democracy we have today.
“American Cold War Veterans deserve special recognition for serving their country and protecting American freedoms,” Burzichelli (D-Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem). “These individuals are some of the most unsung men and women in our history.
“It is time for New Jersey’s to honor their valor and sacrifice during that time.”
“Ensuring Cold War Veterans proper recognition for their dedication and service to this county is important to New Jersey,” DeAngelo (D-Hamilton). “Members of our military, past and present, make selfless sacrifices to protect the American way of life.
“With this medal, we can begin to say thank you to those men and women who served during the Cold War for their service.”
The bill (A-3828) would create a Cold War Medal to be presented by the Governor to a veteran who is a resident of the State, or who was a resident on the date of commencement of service, in recognition of his or her honorable service during the Cold War between the dates of September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991, inclusive. The state currently awards five other medals: Distinguished Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; and POW-MIA Service Medal.
The measure was approved by the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.