TRENTON, N.J. – Today the governor signed a joint resolution (SJR59/AJR21), sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, that designates May of each year as “Civil War Veterans Recognition Month” and honors the Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as two Civil War veterans organizations.
“It is a fitting time to recognize the importance of the Civil War and its positive outcomes and establish a permanent commemoration of the Union Civil War veterans, and the two organizations that have supported them and their memory -The Grand Army of the Republic and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War,” proclaimed Dancer (R-Ocean). “New Jersey will now honor the sacrifice and contributions of those who served during America’s deadliest armed conflict.”
The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization, established in 1866 and composed of veterans of the Union Army, the United States Navy, the United States Marines, and the United States Revenue Cutter Service. It dissolved when the last member of the organization died in 1956.
In 1881, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was established, in recognition of the importance of the sacrifice and service of Union Civil War veterans, but separate from the Grand Army of the Republic in deference to the sacredness of the veterans’ personal devotion and the toll of their actual war experience. This organization is the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic and is still in existence today.