CLOSTER, N.J. — A ceremony rededicating the Closter Vietnam Memorial to Lt. Donald A. Mollicone, will be held on Sunday in the park that bears his name.
Mollicone, a Closter native, was 26 when he sacrificed his life in the Vietnam War in 1963. The park was named for him in 1969.
Eagle Scout Jason Lee, 17 recently refurbished the memorial as his Eagle Scout Project.
Three new commemorative kiosks, a flagpole and a walk-in area for visitors to view the kiosks, are major elements of the memorial.
Lee enlisted the help of local businesses as well as fellow Boy Scouts to help him refurbish and build the structures.
"When I started this project, I believed that Lt. Mollicone's memorial needed to be refurbished because it was not a respectful representation of why he is remembered today,” Lee said. “I am honored to be able to fix this memorial in dedication to a fallen hero.”
Mollicone’s brother, Richard A. Mollicone, lives in Texas and is unable to travel to New Jersey for the rededication ceremony. He made a statement on behalf of his family:
“Don embodied the tenets of scouting, believing the three promises of the Scout Oath and living the 12 points of the Scout Law well beyond his years in scouting. He gave back what he learned, as a scout leader and mentor. Don carried his beliefs into adulthood during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy and his service in the U.S. Air Force. Don was a ‘good guy’ and our country is poorer for his untimely demise."
In addition to Lee, Closter Mayor John Glidden, Closter Recreation Commission Director Jim Oettinger and Joseph Organo from the American Legion will be speaking at the ceremony.
Mollicone Park is located on Knickerbocker Road at Eckerson Avenue. Closter Police Chief Dennis Kaine has requested that participants park on Whitney Street or Eckerson Avenue to avoid crossing Knickerbocker.