Local veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation will be honored and remembered in a new way throughout Burlington County, thanks to an initiative led by County Clerk Tim Tyler. The county official today announced that service members who gave their lives for this country will soon be recognized with proper Killed in Action flags that will fly over government buildings in all 40 municipalities.
“We are so fortunate here in Burlington County to be home to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and so many active duty members of the military, veterans, and their families,” said County Clerk Tyler. “As our residents enter government buildings throughout the county, we should be reminded of the sacrifices that were made generations before us and are being made today for this great country. I am pleased to lead this initiative to bring proper Killed in Action flags to our county and municipal buildings, while at the same time helping to ensure compliance with state law.”
Last year the legislature and governor enacted legislation to designate the Killed in Action flag as an official State flag for recognizing all members of the Armed Forces of the United States who lost their lives in any war or conflict in which the country has been involved. The bill requires that the flag be displayed at the State House in Trenton, and at the principal building in each municipality and county.
Beginning today, the KIA flag is flying over the County Administration Building in Mount Holly and the County Department of Human Services Building in Westampton, which houses the County’s Veterans Office. In the coming weeks, the Clerk’s Office will personally visit all 40 town halls and deliver the flag to each municipality.
“It’s so important that we remember the service members in our community who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today,” added County Clerk Tyler, who brought the KIA flag legislation to the attention of county administration. “It’s unfortunate that this important legislation has mostly gone overlooked. I will continue to do all that I can to better serve the military, veterans, and their families throughout Burlington County.”
To coincide with the Memorial Day holiday, County Clerk Tyler began offering special Gold Star Parent identification cards at no cost to any mother or father who lost a child serving on active duty. The card provides access to discounts or other courtesies extended to military families, including free or reduced admission to New Jersey beaches, state parks and forests, and the New Jersey State Museum.
County Clerk Tyler also supports the military in Burlington County by recording veterans discharge paperwork and providing a certified copy at no cost. Earlier this year, he worked alongside Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs in a public information campaign to remind veterans that they are eligible for a new $3,000 exemption when filing their New Jersey income tax forms. In order to receive the exemption, the NJ Division of Taxation must have a copy of the veteran’s discharge paperwork.
The KIA flag can be identified by its solid red design and a silhouette of a helmet on top of a firearm pictured next to a service member.