Above: Gottheimer with Ridgewood American Legion Post 53 Commander Bob Paoli.
RIDGEWOOD, NJ — Today, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) took part in the annual Ridgewood American Legion Post 53 flag laying ceremony at Valleau Cemetery, honoring military service members killed in action and veterans who have passed.
The annual event started when Ridgewood resident Andrew Haderthauer’s 2000 Eagle Scout project helped recover more than 1,000 records of those previously unknown to have served in our military — from as far back as the Civil War. Haderthauer still engages with that work today.
Today, Gottheimer placed a flag on the grave of Master Sergeant Charles Hosking Jr., one of only five Medal of Honor recipients buried in the State of New Jersey. Hosking was killed in action during the Vietnam War when he wrestled an enemy soldier to the ground, covering the enemy with his own body until the grenade strapped to the soldier detonated, selflessly helping save the other members of his command group from serious injury and death.
“One of my bedrock responsibilities is to always have the backs of those who’ve had ours. There is nothing more solemn, nothing more sacred, in the oath that I’ve taken,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “We can never adequately express our gratitude to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, but we can start by keeping our promises to today’s veterans and service members who have committed themselves to keeping our families safe.”
Gottheimer was joined today by American Legion Post 53 Commander Bob Paoli and members of the Post, Ridgewood Mayor Susan Knudsen, Ridgewood Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and families of those veterans buried at the cemetery.
Below: Gottheimer laying a flag at the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant. Hosking Jr.
Below: Gottheimer with Commander Paoli and local students.