Dozens turn out to honor veterans at JS event

“”> JERSEY SHORE — Wayne Peer, bugler for the Jersey Shore Honor Guard, played taps at the end of the 14th Annual “Prayer for America” service, held at the Jersey Shore Presbyterian Church on South Main Street in the borough Friday evening.

The service, according to Pastor Charles Winkleman, is to ask God to bless those serving now, our leaders, our country and the world.

Around 144 local residents attended the service this year which is held by the Jersey Shore Ministerium.

The service began with the Jersey Shore Honor Guard’s presentation of the colors followed by an Armed Forces Salute, played by members of the Fair Play Brass.

Jersey Shore’s new Mayor Denny Thompson lead the congregation with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sgt. Bobby George Sr. did the honors of placing a rifle, dog tags and a helmet next to a pair of boots , for a “Tribute to the Fallen”.

Throughout the evening, pastors from local churches took the podium to give thanks to the fallen and for the freedoms we have and to thank the veterans who are now serving and helping to continue our freedom.

A Pastoral prayer was given by Pastor Steve Coran for the President and President Elect Trump along with various military and civic leaders.

Sandra Vought, the founder of this annual event said she came up with the idea after 911, in 2001 and believes this year our country truly needs this blessing.

“I felt the community needed something to pull us together, to recognize veterans and God and now after our new election I feel we totally need to recognize God and bring Jesus into our lives and back into our schools as well,” said Vought.

During the solo of God Bless the USA by David Bernard, the congregation waved small American Flags to honor our vets. Among the congregation members waving her flag, was “Gold Star Mother” Patricia Suponcic, who lost her one son ,Staff Sgt. Joseph Suponcic, when he was 26, 17 years ago.

“He was in Kosovo and was riding in a humvee. They were going to a check point and the humvee hit a land mine. My son was killed but the driver survived. I just think it’s great to honor the veterans living and serving as well as the ones who died serving their country,” said Suponcic, who has another son serving in Afghanistan.

The Jersey Shore Historical Society added a bit of history to the event this year. The group had a display of military uniforms from WWI and WWII, including a Doughboy uniform complete with helmet and mess kit from WWI.

“They are all on display at the Historical Society Museum. We specifically would like to do this for Veterans Day. It will be an ongoing tradition that we will be having here at the service,” explained Historical Society volunteer Tina Cooney.