New Jersey remembers West Point cadet killed in truck crash
New Jersey is remembering and honoring a cadet from West Orange cadet killed in a vehicle rollover during a training exercise at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point earlier this month.
Flags will fly at half-staff in the state to honor Christopher “CJ” Morgan. Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order directing that flags be lowered Wednesday to honor Morgan. Murphy said Morgan "represented the best of New Jersey and this nation."
A vigil was held Tuesday night at West Orange High School where Morgan was a star wrestler.
Morgan died Thursday when a tactical vehicle carrying cadets overturned in wooded terrain. Nineteen cadets and two soldiers operating the vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Morgan was set to graduate from the academy next year. His father Christopher Morgan Sr. says that his son was thinking about becoming an Army Ranger and then getting into law.
"We’re all so very grateful. We are grateful for the opportunity to have had him as a son. We are grateful for the friends and family who surrounded us and helped shape him through the formative years,” Morgan Sr. said.
Hundreds of people gathered in the West Orange High School auditorium to pay their respects to Morgan. Many said that he would light up a room with his smile and laugh.
"The type of person who never had a bad word about anyone and he had a smile like the moon," said West Orange High School athletic director Ronald Bligh. "Everyone was touched by that smile."
A funeral for Morgan will be held Saturday at West Point.