More than 75 people lined the entrance-way of Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake on Friday afternoon, June 28, to wave American flags welcoming the family and friends of a recent fallen New Jersey soldier.
Organized and hosted by the All Veterans Memorial, an Honorable Service Memorial for U.S. Navy PO2 Kevin Yali, 27, of Midland Park was held last week at 3:15 p.m. at the AVM. Yali tragically died on June 19 while serving in Afghanistan.
The summer heat did not keep local patriots, family and friends of Yali away as many gathered at the ceremonial grounds of the AVM, N.J.’s premier veteran’s memorial site. Sweat mixed in with the tears to all those who paid tribute to this beloved fallen warrior who “too young, he was taken from us,” as it was stated in the opening remarks.
The ceremony began with a formal motorcade escort of Yali’s family, with police cars and motorcycles. The family was then led to the AVM’s Northstar Seating area for the services.
“He gave the ultimate sacrifice,” explains Charlie Wood Uhrmann, AVM founder, during the ceremony. “We are going to honor him.”
After the bagpipe presentation, Karen Kennedy beautifully sang the “National Anthem,” and then Chaplain Adam Charman of the U.S. Army gave the opening invocation.
“We ask for your blessings to his family,” Charman begins as he spoke about Yali. “Kevin proudly served the U.S. Navy…on foreign walls of soil. This would be Kevin’s final deployment; his ultimate sacrifice. His service to our country was with honor.
“He stood firmly and was tested by fire and combat not once, but four times,” says Charman. “We are here to honor him. We hope to emulate his tireless spirit. Kevin’s dues have been paid. We have lost and gained by his service.
“Kevin’s courage… the life grown purer with his intention to serve,” continues Charman. “To his family,” Charman extends “our full condolences.”
Born in Paterson, Yali lived in Midland Park for the past 19 years, according to his obituary. Yali was killed by a mortar while serving as a PO2/E5 in the U.S. Navy, deployed to the Middle East four separate times during his service.
He was sent to Afghanistan on June 1 to work as a private contractor serving alongside U.S. Armed Forces when he was killed 18 days later.
A memorial paver in Yali’s name was dedicated at the AVM for his service during the ceremony; his family was escorted onto the memorial site to set the paver into the walkway alongside other fallen soldiers.
“Hundreds will pass and see Kevin’s name,” says Charman, alongside other soldier’s names who had “life and purpose” and “gave his all.” Charman says of Yali: It “was his spirit- it touched me. He’s done so many great things. I don’t think he’s had any regrets.
“It’s our honor to be here today to honor him,” says Charman. “Kevin was loved and respected by all who were around him. Kevin knew the dangers ahead. His spirit and heart moved him forward. In our hearts, he marches on. His duty now, to watch over us from above. Be at peace my brother.”
At the end of his invocation, Charman thanked Uhrmann for her effort, dedication and passion to funding and building the most remarkable and beautiful of veterans’ memorial grounds in N.J.
“We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our patriots,” says Charman, and one of them being Charlie Uhrmann who hides in the shadows of the ceremonial grounds.
“We are extremely grateful for the gift,” says Charman. “She built this place brick by brick.”
He then thanked all those who came out to pay their respects to the Yali family.
“Thank you all for your participation and time,” says Charman. “Take the time to look around.” See all the names of those who have given their ultimate sacrifice.”
The N.J. State Police concluded the service with an honorary flyover as everyone looked up at the blue sky in anticipation of the helicopter to pass over the AVM.
Family members were greeted by many hugs and sincere condolences from those in the audience, including Morris County Sheriff James Gannon who expressed his deepest sympathies to Yali’s parents, Oscar and Daisy.
The Yalis then walked over to their beloved’s paver, especially Yali’s father, Oscar, who just stood and stared at the stone for the longest time.
Young and old, veterans and residents both local and from surrounding towns came out to the ceremony to be flag holders and learn about this young soldier.
One mother from Hackettstown, whose son had also served in the military and thankfully survived, decided to attend just because her heart bleeds for any families who lose their son or daughter while serving in the U.S. military.
Sara Beattie of Budd Lake attended with her two kids and niece and they helped hold flags to greet the grieving family.
“I found out about it through Girl Scouts,” says Beattie. “I wanted to give the kids the opportunity to experience the military and Kevin. It was a nice celebration; a lot of community, several scouts, families from town and many veterans. No one knew who Kevin was other than his family, but to come together to support him” was important.
“How many memorials are there like this?” she asks. “As a community where the memorial is,” Beattie says she wanted to attend to show support.
“No matter where the memorial is we should support it,” agrees Beattie’s cousin Julian Moran of Flanders who has served as a technical sergeant in the Air Force Reserves for the past eight years. “It’s just sort of inherent for being in the military,” says Moran, as she says it was her obligation to attend the ceremony.
“You want to be there to support them and give back as well,” says Moran.
“I wanted to come,” says 10-year-old Emily Beattie who has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. “I’ve never been to anything like this before. It’s fun kind of. I was feeling sad for their family.”
Kaitlin Compano, another 10-year-old Girl Scout, says “I wanted to see how they do a memorial service. I liked it; it was really nice. I also felt really bad for the family members.”
Movies, Aliens and Astronomy Takes Over At Library
Take a break from splashing and soaking up the sun and head over to the Mt. Olive Public Library.
On Monday, July 8, Universe of Sounds is set for 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, Galaxy Jar is at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, Aliens: Escape from Earth is at 1p.m.; Special event, Astronomy After Dark is at 8 p.m.
A teen program is set for Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m., titled Cosmic Bath Bombs.
Go to www.mopl.org to register.
Library Hosts Out Of This World Events
Mt. Olive Public Library is “Ready to Launch” this Summer with “Out of this World” Events for our Adult Summer Reading Program 2019: “A Universe of Stories” June through August!
Join in at the Gathering Room on Tuesday, July 9, at either 1 p.m.-3 p.m. or 6 p.m.-8 p.m. for the movie “First Man,” the riveting story of NASA’s mission to landing a man on the moon. It explores the sacrifices and cost on the nation; one of the most dangerous missions in history!
Registration requested. Call 973-691-8686 ext. 106 or go to www.mopl.org to register.
On Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m.-11 a.m., check out “Solar Viewing” as Pearl Observatory will set up its equipment at the library to view the sun in a safe Solar Telescope. Rain dates are either: Saturday, Aug. 3, or Saturday, Aug. 17.
Registration required; limited to 20 adults. Go to www.mopl.org to register.
On Saturday, July 13 at 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. stop in to listen to “The Music of Summer: Featuring the Sun, Moon & Stars.” Acclaimed international concert violinist, Dr. David Podles, will take listeners on a “celestial” musical tour featuring pop, classical, and jazz songs.
Registration requested. Call 973-691-8686 ext. 106 or go to www.mopl.org to register.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 1969, the library plans to host a presentation titled, “The Space Race: 1957-1975” on Tuesday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Room.
Join author Kevin Woyce to relive those dramatic days with historic photographs/vintage concept art, be introduced to the visionaries and scientists who made space travel possible, and the American astronauts who boldly traveled “Where no one has gone before!”
Registration requested. Call 973-691-8686 Ext. 106 or go to www.mopl.org to register.
The Market Place & Tavern is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Golf Tournament Honoring Jeff Kamin on Monday, July 15, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Flanders Valley Golf Course in Flanders. Proceeds will go directly to the American Liver Foundation.
After more than a year in recovery, Kamin is fighting the fight and his progress is gaining momentum. Sick for a few months before they uncovered the disease, Kamin was very fortunate to have been selected as a recipient, due to the severity of the disease, for this operation. Kamin is progressing to the point that he finally asked Michelle for her hand in marriage. A wedding is planned for November of 2019.
The mission of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) is to facilitate, advocate and promote educational support and research for the prevention, treatment and care of this disease. Donations will help bring awareness to liver disease and provide financial support for educational programs and patient services offered to the millions of Americans battling one of the 100 liver diseases.
Join in the celebration of Kamin’s road to recovery at the golf outing. Now is the time. Prizes will include: Team Winner; Longest Drive; Closest to Pin.
Continental Breakfast is set for 7:30 a.m. at Market Tavern. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. at Flanders Valley Golf Course. Tee-Time: 9 a.m. at Flanders Valley Golf Course. Banquet Reception: 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Market Tavern.
RSVP at 973-997-3506 or email@example.com.
Sponsorships include: Breakfast: $200; Luncheon: $200; Golf Cart: $250; Closest to Pin: $250. Golfer Pricing: Individual: $150; Foursome: $600; Dinner Only: $100.
For those who can't attend, optional donation appreciated.
Each player package includes green fees, cart, gift, buffet luncheon, on-course refreshments, contests and dinner reception.
Please send payment of cash or check payable to Kamin Open, and Mail to Bruce Wallace, 76 Clover Hill Drive, Flanders, N.J. 07836
Water Report Is In
Please be advised that the Township of Mt. Olive
"Annual Drinking Water Quality Report" is available
on-line by logging into the following link: http:www.mtolivetwp.org/water_quality.html
Hard copies are also available in the Tax Office at
Town Hall or by calling 973-584-7086.
It’s not too late for students to enroll for the Fall Semester at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph. By registering now, students have the opportunity to select courses that best fit their schedule.
The earliest fall courses begin Wednesday, September 4. In total, CCM offers seven terms during its Fall Semester. They are:
· 15 Week: September 4 – December 18
· Early 2 Week: September 4 – September 17
· Early 7 Week: September 4 - October 22
· Mid 2 Week: September 18 – October 1
· 13 Week: September 18 – December 18
· Late 2 Week: October 2 – October 15
· Late 7 Week: October 30 – December 18
With more than 45 Associate degree programs, 150-plus transfer agreements and a wide range of certificate programs, CCM offers numerous opportunities to obtain a high-quality education designed to meet career goals. To see what classes are being offered, visit http://webadvisor.ccm.edu.
Prior to registering for courses, students need to apply to the college. Applications can be submitted online atwww.ccm.edu/admissions/. The Admissions office also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-328-5100. Walk-ins are welcomed. The Admissions office is located in the Student Community Center, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph.
Visit www.ccm.edu and discover how to “Start Right … Finish Strong.”
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Thanks to the Columbia Bank in Fairlawn for picking up the mortgage note for seven shelters for battered women and children, Strengthen Our Sisters will not lose its houses.
“However, we are living in a world where single mothers are losing their children and are being abused not only by violence, but also poverty,” says SOS Founder Sandra Ramos. “Many have come to the shelter for safety. Strengthen our Sisters (SOS) provides that haven, despite many obstacles, which includes lack of government funding, and operating with a volunteer staff.”
Now the shelter has had its utilities turned off and others are pending.
“We are behind in our utilities in our efforts to keep our mortgage current,” says Ramos. “For the continuance of the shelter to break the cycle of poverty and abuse, we need support. We are seeking contributions and monthly pledges to Strengthen Our Sisters domestic violence shelter. We are a nonprofit 501c3, and your donations are tax deductible. For more information, please contact Sandra Ramos @ 973-831-0898. Visit https://www.strengthenoursisters.org/spark-our-sisters/
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Experienced journalist since 1990, living in Flanders for 21 years and covering Mt. Olive Township for the past 10 years.
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