|THE DEDICATION OF THE STARLIFTER MEMORIAL PARK|
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"We are happy to be able to report: "THE C-141 Starlifter Dedication"|
THE day! – What a wonderful feeling of accomplishment after literally years of planning and working
toward this worthwhile goal on the part of many community leaders and their military partners.
The weather was cool and windy but the Starlifter glistened in the crystal-clear sunlight. With great
humility, for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country, both then and now,
the group of distinguished guests and families of these brave and honored men and women, paid tribute
to, not only the military but also to the founder, a long-time President of the Foundation, an
outstanding American patriot, and a Community leader, the late William Demas. He would have been
proud of the accomplishment and of the devoted group assembled.
Following the introductions of the honored guests, the assemblage heard first, from the President of the
Thomas B. McGuire Memorial Foundation, Mr. Ted Strempack. His message was one of stirring memories
of those, who over its forty-year history, have served in this noble aircraft throughout the world in
missions of mercy as well as supplying manpower and materiel to areas of need.
Mr. Strempack continued with this comment: “Throughout the years of planning and construction, the McGuire
Foundation has been the custodian of this Park. Today we are here to offer this gift to its perpetual custodian,
the members of ‘Team McGuire’; the men and women of the 305th and 514th Air Mobility Wings.” At this point, a granite
memorial was unveiled for William Demas, President Emeritas of the T. B. McGuire Memorial Foundation, and for the
dedicated efforts of the many professionals and businesses throughout the area who made this park possible through
their contributions. Many thanks were also extended to those who donated through the personalized pavers which are
now on display surrounding the aircraft. “This park will become a sacred meeting place to visit, honor, and remember.”
Following Mr. Strempack, Col. Scott F. Smith, Vice Commander of the 305th Air Mobility Wing spoke eloquently about the
distinguished history of this aircraft and those that served with it during the almost forty years of service of the C-141.
Col James L. Kerr spoke with deep-felt words, meaningfully about the versatile C-141 (the warhorse of the air), the
“Garden State Starlifter” and its many missions throughout the world and those who gave their all.
We were all honored to have Congressman Jim Saxton with us at this momentous ceremony, where he spoke of the many years of
service of this aircraft and its subsequent expanded model, which carried even greater amounts of cargo over longer range
flights. Congressman Saxton, as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee has been indeed, one who led the fight to
remove McGuire AFB from the BRAC list and was able to reverse the scheduled closure of Ft. Dix in 1989 and 1991. Congressman
Saxton has been instrumental in helping to create the “Joint Base” concept which ultimately saved many jobs in our area and
subsequently laid the strong foundation of economic stability in Burlington County and beyond.
The VFW members performed a fitting memorial ceremony to recognize each of those airmen and women who gave their lives during
the years that the Starlifter performed its service in MAC, and in dedication to those men and women who are in harm’s way
now. The granite memorial was unveiled and each name inscribed was called in tribute.
|Seated left to right: Congressman Jim Saxton, Col. James L. Kerr,
Col. Scott F. Smith, and Mr. Ted Strempack
In commemoration of the dedicated efforts of the Founder of Maj. Thomas B. McGuire,
Jr. Memorial Foundation, the late Mr. William Demas, the members of the Foundation,
and the community without which this Memorial would not have been possible.
|The Memorial for the dedicated air crews who lost their lives serving in the
C141 - each name is inscribed on this granite tribute.
PLEASE COME TO MEDITATE AND PAY HOMAGE|
TO OUR FALLEN FRIENDS AND TO ENJOY
THE BEAUTY OF THE PARK.