NJ police install 9-foot statue to honor veteran
The department raised enough money to build the statue in honor of a local vet, as well as donate to five veteran charities
By PoliceOne Staff
WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ — New Jersey police officers launched a fundraiser last spring in an effort to honor a highly decorated World War II veteran. The result is now displayed outside their station.
Patrolman Mike Malone and his fellow Wall Township police officers hoped to raise enough money for a memorial service, but the outpouring of support resulted in $130,000 - enough to create a bronze statue of WWII veteran Harry Rockafeller, who recently died at the age of 100, NJ.com reports.
The community response not only helped the department fund the statue, but also enabled them to donate an additional $50,000 to five veterans groups.
“I got letters from WWII veterans themselves with the donations that they could make,” said Malone, 39, whose own grandfather was a World War II veteran.
The 9-foot tall bronze likeness of Rockafeller was dedicated during a ceremony on Nov. 11 and now stands in front of the Wall Police Headquarters.
“It was really an overwhelming sense of pride and honor,” Malone said of the dedication. “He’s no longer with us, but his memory and his legacy are going to be permanent reminders here in Wall Township of the sacrifice of all World War II veterans.”
The five groups the department donated to each received $10,000. Several thousands of dollars that remains will go towards maintaining the statue and to additional charities not yet named.