For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Atlantic County Veterans Memorial Program - Friday, May 25
Retired Major General William M. Matz, Jr., a highly decorated 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army who once served as the Executive Secretary to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, will deliver the keynote address as Atlantic County honors the memories of its fallen military heroes on Friday, May 25 at 2 PM during the 28th annual Veterans Memorial Program to be held at the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery located in the county park, Route 50, Estell Manor.
“Our Veterans Memorial program is a tradition in Atlantic County that we are proud to honor. It is a heartfelt tribute to our military heroes, so many of whom sacrificed their lives for freedom and to protect our country,” County Executive Dennis Levinson stated. “It is also our honor to welcome Major General William Matz who has had an illustrious military career that has taken him around the globe.”
Major General Matz served in Korea and Vietnam as well as on the Pacific Fleet and in Panama. Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Course, the Airborne and Ranger Courses, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He received a BA degree from Gettysburg College and a MA degree from the University of San Diego.
In preparation for Friday’s ceremony, several members of local boy scout and girl scout troops will place American flags at approximately 3,000 grave sites located within the veterans cemetery on Wednesday, May 23 (rain date Thursday, May 24). Scouts who perform this task at two of three occasions during the year (Memorial Day, July Fourth and Veterans Day) will earn the Atlantic County Patriotism patch in recognition of their service to veterans. This year’s ceremony will include the presentation of the first Patriotism patches to 28 youth who have successfully performed this service during the past year.
The Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery provides a final resting place for military veterans and their spouses. There are approximately 14,200 veterans who currently reside in Atlantic County. More than 3,700 individuals (veterans and spouses) are interred at the veterans cemetery and nearly 3,000 have applied for interment.