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American Gold Star Mothers, Inc

DEPT OF NEW JERSEY

New Jersey finally gets a Gold Star license plate.

S2192 was signed by Governor Christie on 1/31/11. Plates are scheduled to be available in August, 2011.

The "MH" stands for Military Hero.

Twelve Gold Star families, representatives of several veterans organizations
and many legislators that supported the bill attended the signing.

Judith Tapper addresses the gathering.

L to R, Judith Tapper, Gold Star Mother, president of the NJ chapter
of the American Gold Star Mothers and the moving force behind
the effort to finally get this legislation passed; Governor Chris Christie
and Lt Governor Kim Guadagno.

Governor Christie congratulates Judith Tapper accompanied by
Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez (L)
and Lt Governor Kim Guadagno (R).

Governor Christie signs the bill as appreciative Gold Star families look on.

Governor Christie and Judith Tapper admire the new plate.

L to R, Assemblyman Jack Conners, Gold Star Brother Benjamin Kane,
Gold Star Mother Melinda Kane, Judith Tapper and Senator James Beach.

Judith Tapper and Cliff Nolan, Teamsters, Polictical Action Committee.

Judith Tapper and Lt. Col. Brian K. Scully, NJ Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Judith tapper and Terry Fearon, a Vietnam Veteran who contributed
significantly to getting this bill passed.

Video of Governor Christie's remarks (6:14).


Remarks by Judith Tapper, president of the New Jersey chapter of American Gold Star Mothers.

Good morning, I am Judi Tapper, Pres of the Dept of NJ AGSM and Proud Mother of PO1, US Navy Seal, David M. Tapper. Please allow me to introduce the families of the fallen.

Governor Christi and guests:

Today the Gold Star Families of NJ wish to thank all those who were so persistent this past year to ensure the approval of the "Gold Star Family" License Plate Bill. Terry Fearon and Cliff Nolan, your unwavering support and efforts will not be forgotten.

This Bill was re-introduced as a bipartisan effort by Assemblymen, Jack Conners and David Rible, Senators, James Beach and Sean Keen. Both committees delivered a unanimous vote. The Motor Vehicle Commision, Chief Administrator, Raymond Martinez gave his 100% support. To date, my association with the Motor Vehicle Commission has been an enjoyable experience and they are working diligently to have the license plate design approved by management before it goes off to the vendor.

My wish now is for the media to educate the public on the most important story of the Gold Star Families. The sacrifice of our fallen heroes is a tremendous loss to the families but also to America.

Those who are willing to sacrifice their lives protecting America need to be honored and remembered. The Gold Star Families know first hand the cost of that sacrifice. They lost a loved one in service to our country.

As we all safely stand here today, there are young men and woman serving around the world, as did all our children, who voluntarily step forward to unselfishly serve our nation and honor us by their efforts.

The license plate is just one token of appreciation and the NJ Gold Star Families thank the administration for that.

At this time I am privileged to introduce Governor Chris Christi. As a reminder of the importance of this day, the Gold Star Families would like to present you with the 2010 New Jersey Run for the Fallen Challenge Coin. This event took place last Sept. and will continue to be an Annual event in memory of our loved ones.

The Gold Star Families appreciate your support of the License Plate Bill. We hope to have your continued support as we move forward with our mission of educating the public through our media channels. Thank you.


Press Release from Governor Christie's Office

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE SIGNS LEGISLATION TO HONOR NEW JERSEY'S FALLEN WAR HEROES

Gold Star Family License Plates to Preserve Memory of Lost Loved Ones

TRENTON, NJ -- Flanked by war veterans and the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Governor Chris Christie today signed legislation that clears the way for the first Gold Star Family license plate to be issued in New Jersey. The bill, S-2192, authorizes the special license plates for any motor vehicle owned or leased by a family member of a member of the armed services who lost his or her life while on active duty for the United States.

"Today, we live in a free country because of the sacrifices of our nation's servicemen and women, and their families. Many have been injured or given their lives while fighting to defend freedom and the liberties we cherish as Americans," said Governor Christie during the ceremony at the Trenton War Memorial. "I am deeply honored to sign this legislation on behalf of all of New Jersey's brave military personnel who have been lost at war as well as their devoted, loving families who can be proud of their family member's service to this state and nation. While these Gold Star Family plates cannot replace their loved ones, they are a symbol of their sacrifice, and a small token of our gratitude and thankfulness that we can never fully repay."

The new plates are emblazoned with an American flag with a Gold Star in the center and imprinted with the word Hero.

Judith Tapper, President of the NJ Gold Star Mothers, lobbied aggressively for the state to create the special license plate for many years following the tragic loss of her son, David, in Afghanistan in 2003.

"Today is the happy culmination of a lot of work and shear tenacity," said New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. "For the last few months, the MVC has had the privilege of working with Ms. Tapper to keep this legislation living through the approval process and I can honestly say the Gold Star Mothers of New Jersey are a devoted group of women dedicated to preserving the memory of children."

The genesis of the Gold Star Mothers dates back to World War I, when a Blue Star was used to represent each person in the Military Service of the United States. As military personnel were lost in combat or died of their wounds, the Gold Star became an accepted symbol to use to honor the service member's supreme sacrifice and the pride of the family. It has been used throughout World War II, the Korean Conflict to present day.

Eligibility for the plates will be determined by the Gold Star Mother's organization and provided by the MVC free-of-charge. Those eligible include spouses, parents, brothers, sisters, children, legal guardians or other legal custodians of any member of the armed services who dies while on active duty.

The MVC offers three other gratis military based specialty plates including one honoring prisoners of war and recipients of the Silver Star and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Prime sponsors of the Gold Star legislation include Senators James Beach and Sean Kean and Assemblymembers Jack Conners, David P. Rible, Nancy F. Munoz, Matthew W. Milam, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Anthony M. Bucco and Scott T. Rumana.

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