Deserving recipient of service medal
The latest recipient of New Jersey's highest civilian award is a most deserving one. Retired Navy Capt. David McGuigan's contribution to the state and South Jersey has earned the appreciation of every resident.
McGuigan received the New Jersey Meritorious Service Medal last week for his tireless work to bring the USS New Jersey to Camden. He already has volunteered more than 1,000 hours to the battleship effort and coordinated and wrote much of the 1,700-page application for the Camden site. Clearly, without McGuigan leading the underdog South Jersey effort to land the battleship, the "Big J" would be headed for Bayonne.
But McGuigan's work is far from over. As president of the Home Port Alliance, he's leading the charge to build a $12 million to $15 million battleship memorial. Getting this massive project up and running -- and then operating smoothly -- is a huge task.
"This was a surprise and a very proud moment for me," McGuigan said when he received the medal.
Well, for a lot of Delaware Valley residents, McGuigan has provided more than a few proud moments, from the spirited effort to bring the battleship to South Jersey to the unforgettable Veterans Day when the "Big J" floated up the Delaware River.
The best, though, is still to come: when the USS New Jersey takes its rightful place along the Camden Waterfront. That, indeed, will be a proud moment for us all. And we have McGuigan -- along with countless other volunteers -- to thank.