Medal ceremony held in Trenton for war veterans

September 7, 2013 9:46:12 PM PDT
The Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to veterans on Saturday in Trenton at the New Jersey World War II Memorial.

James Floyd, Jr. from Trenton said, "This is an honor to see my father accept this award.

Their hero is 88-year-old Seaman First Class James Floyd, a resident of Willingboro, New Jersey who narrowly missed the Port of Chicago explosion while he served in World War II.

"It blew up at 10:20 p.m. and I was scheduled to be at work at 11:00 p.m. The ones on the dock got killed and I got blessed," said Floyd.

Family and friends filled the New Jersey War Memorial adding significance to the ceremony, which came weeks after VJ Day, which marked the end of the second war.

World War II veteran Army Staff Sergeant Gabriel Scerbo from Colonia, New Jersey, humbly accepted his award with his family by his side.

"It couldn't be any better, a pleasant day," said Scerbo.

Scerbo's relative, Phyllis Monaco was there too, for her husband's Salvatore Monaco's posthumous honor.

"For him it would have been the world, because he believed in the county," said Monaco.

Officials gave the distinguished medal to all New Jersey veterans who applied for the honor and qualified, not just for World War II veterans but it was those veterans that stole the show Saturday .

The amount of the War World II veterans was significant and so was the place where the ceremony was held.

Michael Cunniff, Brigadier General the Adjutant General said, "The time when you're going to be able to meet a man at Okinawa or D-day at Normandy Beach are coming to a close. So I think it's a pretty significant day to have so many veterans from World War II, the greatest nation defended by the greatest generation."

Anyone interested in applying for the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal should call 1-888-8NJ-VETS , (1-888-865-8387) to request an application. For additional information visit the Department of Military Affairs and Veteran Affairs.

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