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Hunterdon County Veterans Services Officer hosts veteran headstone cleaning event

FLEMINGTON, NJ (Hunterdon County) – The Hunterdon County Veterans Services Officer (VSO) Richard Booth hosted a veteran headstone cleaning event last month at the Flemington Presbyterian Church Cemetery on Main Street in Flemington, with more than twenty volunteers and members of the county’s Historical Society joining, to clean headstones of Veterans dating back to the Civil War.

Inspired by Trae Zipperer’s non-profit organization, ‘By Memorial Day,’ the County’s Commissioner Board hosted a Veteran Headstone Cleaning event in October last year with VSO Booth and invited Mr. Zipperer to Hunterdon County for a demonstration and training session.

Commissioner Board Deputy Director and Veterans liaison Zachary T. Rich said at the event last year, “Listening to Trae tell a story about the Veteran who was buried under the headstone he cleaned, and recognizing that there is a person, with a life story, connected to that headstone, changes the perspective. From that moment, it becomes an obligation as an American to take better care of these headstones.”

Zipperer, a Navy Veteran, has been traveling all over the country to share his mission, which is to promote the perpetual care of all Veteran’s headstones.

VSO Rich Booth, also a Navy Veteran, said, “Last year when Mr. Zipperer traveled to New Jersey from Florida, it was evident that he was committed to honoring our nation’s Veterans through the maintenance of their headstones. As a Veteran, it is my obligation to promote this program throughout the county and continue honoring our heroes in their final resting place.”

Civil War headstones that were cleaned at the Flemington Presbyterian Cemetery included Lambert Boeman, a Union Civil War solider and Captain of Company A-15th New Jersey Infantry, who was killed at Cedar Creek, Virginia on October 19, 1864, and Alexander Bonnell, a Union Civil War soldier who served as Captain in Company D-31st New Jersey and at the rank of Major on the staff of Brigadier General Theodore Runyon who ran the First New Jersey Brigade, and died August 13, 1872.

If you would like to sign-up for a Cleaning Event in May or June, please contact to become a volunteer. Cleaning supplies and water bottles are provided for all participants at each event.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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