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12/18/2020 - Cumberland County Holds Veterans Burial Pavilion Groundbreaking

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NEW JERSEY (December 17, 2020) On November 19, 2020, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners broke ground for the construction of The Cumberland County Veterans Burial Pavilion. Located in a beautifully scenic and rural part of Hopewell Township, The Cumberland County Veterans Cemetery has been a source of pride for area residents since its consecration took place in 1999 and the first burial in 2000. However, the cemetery lacks a public space for services. In describing the challenge this presents, George Castellini, County Commissioner Liaison to the Cumberland County Veteran’s Commission, stated, “the unique nature of veteran’s cemeteries often make graveside services difficult creating the need to provide a Committal Service Shelter on the cemetery grounds.” Castellini added, “The 25’ by 36’ covered open-air pavilion, with seating for approximately 48 people, will provide protection from the elements in a quiet and dignified setting for those attending services for our honored veterans.”

The construction now underway is being performed by Marino General Construction based on a design by Mort Isaacson, RA and Bruce D. Turner AIA. The project is being managed by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority and selected site work is being performed by Cumberland County’s Public Works Department. Commissioner Castellini indicates donations, including in kind services, from participating contractors such as Northeast Precast and veteran owned business Lee-Way Electrical helped bring the project to fruition.

Commissioner Carol Musso, alternate liaison to the County Veteran’s Commission, expressed the Board’s deep satisfaction on moving the project forward stating, “The Veterans Burial Pavilion will be a beautifully simple low maintenance modern structure with provisions for power, audio and video systems to provide a committal service shelter for veterans that their families deserve.” Musso observed, “While simple, the pavilion will include an embossed interior feature wall for the display of service insignias for each service branch that will be highlighted by wall-wash lighting,” Musso added, “The pavilion will serve our veterans and their families in a way that expresses our deep respect and appreciation.”

Diana Pitman, Director of the Cumberland County Department of Community Affairs indicated, “Not only will the pavilion provide a facility to serve the family and friends of the deceased veteran, by providing amenities such as a storage room for chairs and a rolling bier, conducting services at the pavilion will remove unnecessary logistical challenges associated with graveside services.” Pitman added, “The pavilion will provide peace of mind to those planning cemetery services for our veterans and their spouses.”

Commissioner Castellini concluded, “The Veterans Burial Pavilion has long been a goal of the Commissioner Board and a personal commitment for me as liaison and Commissioner Musso as alternate liaison to the Veterans Commission. Former Freeholder Joseph Sparacio, who has just returned from active duty in Iraq, was truly instrumental from the start and played a vital role in the forward movement of the project for The Veterans Burial Pavilion. We are gratified and humbled to play a part in providing a Burial Pavilion that our veterans and their families need and deserve. We would look forward to that day in the near future when the pavilion becomes available for use.”

Pictured from left to right: Commissioner George Castellini, Commissioner Carol Musso, Ed Alicia, Semper Marine Dean and Commander of the United Veterans Council, Diana Pitman, BSN, RN, VSO, Director of the Cumberland County Department of Veterans Affairs, Matt Jordan, Veterans Commission, Past Freeholder Joseph Sparacio


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