Catholic cemetery honors fallen for Memorial Day

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COLONIA -

The Archdiocese of Newark hosted services at several cemeteries across the region on Memorial Day.

More than 1,000 Catholic cemeteries held Memorial Day services remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, including at St. Gertrude Cemetery in Colonia.

Many made the trek despite the pouring rain, including U.S. Army veteran Andrew Schaal.

"There's a lot of people in this country who sacrifice their time," Schaal said. "My kids, my wife especially know that."

Veterans were asked to stand and be recognized during the service. Some said the day of mourning the fallen was also a reminder of work that needs to be done. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey has 400,000 veterans who served in all conflicts, but more than 30 percent, like Marines veteran Keith Knowles, served in the Vietnam War.

"I don't think they're appreciated enough," he said. "All our veterans, their health care should be paid for."

According to census data from recent years, New Jersey's unemployment rate for veterans is at 10 percent. The Housing Assistance Council estimates that 5 percent live in poverty.

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