Upper Pittsgrove Twp., N.J. (July 21st, 2017) – A roadside memorial honoring Navy Ensign John R. Elliott, recently upgraded by volunteer craftsmen from the Bricklayers and Iron Workers trade councils, will be dedicated at a ceremony to be held on Friday, July 21st at 12 noon in Upper Pittsgrove Township, N.J. The dedication will mark the 17th anniversary of the tragic death of Ensign Elliott (a 2000 graduate of the United States Naval Academy) at the site, in a collision with a drunken driver. The HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers, established by the Elliott family in their son’s memory, has grown into a regional movement to prevent drunk driving in seven states.
Bill and Muriel Elliott and their daughter Jennifer will be joined by state and local dignitaries at the ceremony. Joining the Elliotts will be Richard Tolson, President of The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers/Administrative District Council of New Jersey, and Richard Sweeney, President of Iron Workers Local 399 and himself a victim of a DUI crash.
New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, also a Vice President of the International Ironworkers, will attend and is expected to discuss his bill renaming a section of Route 40 in honor of Ensign Elliott.
Parking is available across the road from the memorial on the access road to the Hidden View Dairy, owned by James Eller, who in 2002 created the first roadside cross and plaque for John Elliott, which has now become a permanent memorial, built on private farmland.