Bill Text: NJ SJR59 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Designates May of each year as "Civil War Veterans Recognition Month," in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 4-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-06-06 - Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee [SJR59 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SJR59-Introduced.html

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 59

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 26, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  MICHAEL J. DOHERTY

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Designates May of each year as "Civil War Veterans Recognition Month," in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution designating the month of May of each year as "Civil War Veterans Recognition Month" in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

 

Whereas, The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization, established in 1866 and composed of veterans of the Union Army, the United States Navy, the United States Marines, and the United States Revenue Cutter Service, who had actually served in the Civil War and had personally experienced the ravages of that conflict; and

Whereas, The Civil War in the United States was one of the bloodiest and darkest periods in the history of our nation, the devastation of which was felt all the more keenly because it was fought here - in the woods and fields where many of the young men who were killed or wounded had been playing as children only a few years before - on battlefields in places the men had called home, sometimes mere yards from their mothers' houses - and it was fought hand-to-hand, brother against brother, father against son, American against American; and

Whereas, The Civil War was also one of our most important wars, testing the strength and endurance of our young nation and tempering it into a stronger union, while changing even what we called ourselves from "these United States" to "the United States"; and

Whereas, In 1881, in recognition of the importance of the sacrifice and service of Union Civil War veterans but in deference to the sacredness of the veterans' personal devotion and the toll of their actual war experience, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was established as a separate organization from the Grand Army of the Republic, composed of the sons and successive generations of Union Civil War veterans; and

Whereas, It is especially fitting to recognize and commemorate the organizations that have sought to preserve the memory and contributions of the Union Civil War veterans and their descendants, having marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013, a battle which proved to be the turning point of the Civil War that ensured the victory of the Union Army in the conflict; and

Whereas, Both the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War have supported numerous efforts throughout the country to memorialize and remember important Civil War events and participants, and to preserve artifacts from that time, as well as being active and vigilant in American politics for the sake of many causes, including veterans' rights and benefits; and

Whereas, When the Grand Army of the Republic dissolved with the death of its last member in 1956, it was left to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and successive generations of Americans to always remember and commemorate the extreme sacrifice and service of the men who served in the Civil War, the role of these men in fortifying the union of the United States of America, and the role of these Civil War veterans organizations in perpetuating the contributions and achievements of these veterans; and

Whereas, May is the month in which Memorial Day - formerly called Decoration Day - is commemorated each year in remembrance of the men and women who have given their lives in violent conflicts and wars around the world in the service of the United States; and

Whereas, The Grand Army of the Republic was instrumental in the establishment of Decoration Day, and subsequently Memorial Day, as well as many other formal commemorations that recognize United States veterans;  now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The month of May each year is designated as "Civil War Veterans Recognition Month" in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

 

     2.    The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation recognizing May as "Civil War Veterans Recognition Month" and honoring the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as two Civil War veterans organizations.

 

     3.    The proclamation shall also call upon individuals, organizations, schools, and local government units to support and conduct activities and events that mark the importance of the Civil War and its positive outcomes, the contributions of veterans of the Civil War, and the history and contributions of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

 

     4.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution designates May of each year as "Civil War Veterans Recognition Month" in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

     It is a fitting time to recognize and establish a permanent commemoration of the Union Civil War veterans and the two organizations that have supported them and their memory - the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War - because July 1 to 3, 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, a battle which proved to be the turning point of the Civil War and ensured the Union's victory in the conflict. 

     The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization, established in 1866 and composed of veterans of the Union Army, the United States Navy, the United States Marines, and the United States Revenue Cutter Service.  It dissolved when the last member of this organization died in 1956.  In 1881, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was established, in recognition of the importance of the sacrifice and service of Union Civil War veterans but separate from the Grand Army of the Republic in deference to the sacredness of the veterans' personal devotion and the toll of their actual war experience.  This organization is the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic and is still in existence today.

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