Wall Twp PD honoring WWII vet with a 9-foot statue
Our honoree on this #BlueFriday is Wall Township Patrolman Michael Malone. Going beyond the duties of being a police officer, he stepped up in a big way to honor one of the "Greatest Generation" heroes who lived in our state until his death at 100 years old.
Patrolman Malone not only extended his friendship and time, but after the death of his friend, he stepped up to properly honor the man, his contribution to our nation and all World War Two veterans. The story is best told by our honoree himself, so below is a note from Michael. Please read and contribute if you're able to the fund that will help properly honor the man and his fellow veterans:
"I met this hero on routine patrol in Sept 2012. I was in neighborhood for suspicious vehicle. I knocked on the door of the caller and this old timer comes to the door wearing a ball cap that read "Patton's Best". A conversation and a friendship was forged. From Sept 2012 until August 2017 I had a once in a life time friendship that touched several lives and changed them forever. The day he passed, his only child, Pamela asked me to give a Eulogy for her father. A sad, but greatest honor of my life.
Major General Harry "Rocky" Rockafeller was a highly decorated combat veteran of the 4th Armored Division in WWII. He was 3 times recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, our Nation's second highest award; however he received 3 Silver Stars for those actions. He also received a Bronze Star with V Device for Valor, a Purple Heart and several other commendations. During WWII Rocky was a Captain and promoted to Major. Rocky and the 4th Armored Division assisted in the liberation of the Ohrdruf concentration camp, a sub-camp of Buchenwald in the first days of April 1945. He retired from the United States Army in 1974 as a 2 Star General. He lived on River Rd Wall Twp since the end of WWII until his passing on 8August17 at 100 years old.
Rocky came face to face, fought and took prisoner, the worst evil of modern history in France, Belgium and Germany. What he and the rest of the Greatest Generation did for humanity, freedom and our country can not be forgotten and I fear that with each day that these warriors pass, their legacy and honor passes with them, especially at the local level. Most of Wall Twp did not know of Harry Rockafeller or his sacrifice, courage and heroism. I am fairly certain the entire state of NJ did not either.
WE will remedy that problem..... Permanently.
We plan to dedicate a 9 foot Bronze Statue of Harry Rockafeller which will be a monument for all our WWII Veterans. I don't think there is a single Police Department or Police Union across this country that has done something like this. This statue will be placed in front of Wall Twp Police Headquarters on Veterans Day 2018.
The statue will portray "Rocky" at his finest moment, Bastogne Belgium, after relieving the surrounded 101st Airborne Paratroopers at the start of the battle of the Bulge, a turning point in WWII. It truly was one of the most significant battles in history.
The monument will be created by Chad Fisher of Fisher Sculpture www.fishersculpture.com at cost. Our goal is to raise the money needed through donations for this statue/memorial to be created, delivered and installed at the Wall Twp Police Department on Veterans Day 2018. Should we be lucky enough to exceed our fundraising goal, the remaining funds will remain in the Rockafeller Memorial Fund to be used for the benefit of Veterans in the future or Veteran related programs. You can visit the GofundMe page and for more info, visit our website www.rockafellermemorial.com."
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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