BRICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — On this Memorial Day, a New Jersey man showed his dedication to honor our military heroes.

The veteran certainly knows the meaning of service and sacrifice, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.

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It was a salute from a man who has been on a mission.

“These veterans did not come home,” Brick resident Bill Duffy said.


And it’s because he came home that Army veteran Duffy is determined to remember every hero who left this community and was killed in war. It brought him to the monument outside Brick Town Hall.

“The monument needed some tender loving care,” Duffy said. “Forty donors contributed close to $15,000.”

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And with that money the old memorial got a makeover. Names of the deceased once chiseled into old granite are now engraved on brass plaques, with some additions.

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“When I first did my research there were only 12 names on the memorial. During my research I was able to discover nine other Brick fallen heroes and they’ve been added to the memorial,” Duffy said.

On Monday, the area was rededicated to the bravery of the Brick natives and their families in a small but meaningful socially distant ceremony.

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About three and a half miles away from that memorial is the other portion of Duffy’s passion project — 21 banners outside the entrance to Windward Beach Park, each bearing the names of those same fallen heroes.

Each banner hanging on a lamp post also lists the conflict where they gave their lives. Both are labors of love that are sadly designed with room for more stories.

“Freedom is not free. Freedom is not free,” Duffy said.

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Two touching tributes that should not be missed as we vow to never forget.