Veterans in Bayonne, N.J., were honored in a formal ceremony and reception hosted at Bayonne Medical Center and co-organized by the Yale Veterans Association (YVA) and CarePoint Health, a medical group that serves the Hudson County area.
The veterans, who served in the military between 1955 and 1975, were each presented with a special limited-edition lapel pin and certificate authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and recognize the three million Americans who served in uniform during that period.
The honored veterans consisted of local residents and hospital employees. At the ceremony, which was attended by more than 60 people, they were joined by family and friends, representatives of different veteran service organizations, hospital staff members and administrators, and members of the Yale alumni veteran community.
The simple but dignified ceremony elicited strong emotions from honorees and audience members.
“Some of the veterans, family members, and guests were so touched and moved by the whole thing that they cried,” said Capt. Lydia Cristobal ’16 DNP, a U.S. Army Reservist and YVA board member, who spearheaded the event.
For Jessica Ramos, the emergency department nurse manager at Bayonne Medical Center, attending the ceremony was an incredibly meaningful experience.
“Being afforded the opportunity to witness an event that honors our brave men and women from our military, and expressing our appreciation and gratitude, was powerful as well as humbling,” she said.