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Children Of Late POW Accept Honor For Dad In Hackensack

From the left, Ariel Jacob Luna, director of the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services; David Ulrich; Stefanie Ulrich; Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III.
From the left, Ariel Jacob Luna, director of the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services; David Ulrich; Stefanie Ulrich; Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
The Presentation of Colors by the Bergen County Sheriff Honor Guard Unit.
The Presentation of Colors by the Bergen County Sheriff Honor Guard Unit. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Eagle Scout David Tarantino singing the national anthem.
Eagle Scout David Tarantino singing the national anthem. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
The gathering at POW/MIA Recognition Day 2016 at One Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack.
The gathering at POW/MIA Recognition Day 2016 at One Bergen County Plaza in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Dr. Carl Singer asking for a show of hands for POWs in attendance at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack.
Dr. Carl Singer asking for a show of hands for POWs in attendance at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Veterans in attendance at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack.
Veterans in attendance at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Veterans in attendance at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack.
Veterans in attendance at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III delivering an address at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack.
Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III delivering an address at POW/MIA Recognition Day in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III presents a military service medal to Stefanie Ulrich on behalf of her father, the late Murray Kent Ulrich, a World War II veteran and German POW.
Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III presents a military service medal to Stefanie Ulrich on behalf of her father, the late Murray Kent Ulrich, a World War II veteran and German POW. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Specialist Andres Marquez of the New Jersey National Guard Honor Guard playing "Taps" at the end of the POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony.
Specialist Andres Marquez of the New Jersey National Guard Honor Guard playing "Taps" at the end of the POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

HACKENSACK, N.J. — The daughter and son of a deceased World War II veteran and German POW accepted honors on their father’s behalf Friday at this year’s POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony in Hackensack.

The ceremony drew some 100 veterans, dignitaries, and private citizens to One Bergen County Plaza.

The honoree was Murray Kent Ulrich of Englewood, who died in 1998.

He was a World War II veteran and German POW captured in 1944.

His children, Stefanie Ulrich of Englewood and David Ulrich of New York City, were visibly affected by the honor, presented by Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III.

“This means a lot,” Stefanie Ulrich told Daily Voice. “We’re thrilled to have anybody recognize him.”

She said her father never spoke about his experiences as a prisoner of war, except for a couple of amusing anecdotes.

“Now he’s gone,” she added. “My brother and I today were lamenting that it’s too bad that we couldn’t have this day with our father still here because he was invisible for all those years.”

Neither of them thanked their father for his service, she said.

“We didn’t know much,” explained Ulrich, a clinical psychologist who works with veterans.

U.S. Army Private Ulrich was 26 when he entered the military and served from 1944 to 1946.

He was captured by the Germans during the Battle of Vianden in Luxembourg in November 1944.

He remained in captivity for 383 days, according to a World War II POW Archive.

During that time, American POWs were known to endure hunger, disease, beatings, and sudden death.

Ariel Jacob Luna, director of the Bergen County Division of Veterans Affairs and organizer of POW/MIA Recognition Day, said Ulrich worked on a rail project, which he would sabotage on purpose sometimes.

Speakers at the event included Dr. Carl Singer of the U.S. Army, Tedesco, and Freeholder Vice Chairwoman Tracy Silna Zur.

During the presidential campaign, Zur noted, much is heard questioning the heroism of those who are captured in war.

So it is especially important, she said, to remember and say thank you.

“For us here in Bergen County,” Zur said, “we will continue to send the message to each and every one of our veterans that the sacrifice that they have made – some of them, the ultimate sacrifice – is meaningful and important to all of us.”

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