HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – The list of residents of Woodview Estates in Mays Landing includes a number who have served in the United States armed services.
On Wednesday, Feb. 8 South Jersey Quilts of Valor Foundation Chapter 11255 presented nine of those veterans with handmade quilts.
Quilters Ruth Ann Bosworth of Woodbury, Anne Lovell of Cape May Court House and Dottie Saslav of Egg Harbor Township visited the assisted living center to present the quilts to the veterans in recognition of their military service. The three members represented the foundation, which has made it its mission to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts.
The quilts were presented at a brief ceremony. The recipients were Evelyn Alessi, Leonard Bush, Corky Cardwell, Leonard Cogan, William Dabbs, Mike Pilla, Alma Walfson, Ken Smith and Simon Techner.
Atlantic County Historical Society governing board financial secretary Helen Walsh and trustee Cheryl Collins attended. Both Walsh, who previously served as the Atlantic County administrator, and Collins have been active in the Atlantic County Historical Society Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.
The project is dedicated to preserving the personal stories of veterans from any branch of the military. The mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American veterans so that future generations may better understand the realities of war. Copies of the videotaped interviews are maintained at both the Library of Congress and the local historical society.
Walsh and Collins said they were excited to attend the ceremony because they had interviewed some of the veterans who were recognized. One of the honorees Collins interviewed was Ken Smith, 92, who lived in the Bargaintown section of Egg Harbor Township before moving into assisted living.
“He served as a surveyor in Italy for the United States Army during World War II,” Collins said. “He is sharp as a tack and has an excellent memory. The Library of Congress requires each taped interview to be at least 30 minutes in length. His interview lasted 45 minutes.”
She said conducting the interviews for the Veterans History Project is a passion of the organization’s volunteers.
“It is nice to give our veterans this recognition they so richly deserve,” said Collins.
Woodview Estates administrator Victoria Pierro said the residents and staff were honored to be a part of the special ceremony by the Veteran’s History Project and Quilts of Valor.
“It was a very moving presentation, and our veterans here at Woodview were thrilled,” she said.