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County Holds Veterans Burial Pavilion Groundbreaking

From left: 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 Veteran Affairs; Matt Jordan – Veterans Commission; Past Freeholder Joseph Sparacio

On November 19, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners broke ground for the construction of The Cumberland County Veterans Burial Pavilion. Located in Hopewell Township, The Cumberland County Veterans Cemetery has been a source of pride for area residents since its consecration in 1999 and the first burial in 2000. However, the cemetery lacks a public space for services.

“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,” said George Castellini, County Commissioner Liaison to the Cumberland County Veteran’s Commission.

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, said, “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. 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. 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 stated, “The pavilion will provide peace of mind to those planning cemetery services for our veterans and their spouses.”

Commissioner Castellini added, “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 would look forward to that day in the near future when the pavilion becomes available for use.”