Sept. 27, 2019-- Major James M. Weis was a Marine Corps helicopter pilot who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. The death of the High School North graduate greatly impacted Toms River, and the school and community honored his heroic legacy by recognizing a stretch of Old Freehold Road as the Maj. James M. Weis Memorial Highway, with signage posted in front of the high school.
The original signage was developed at the district's sign shop, and the stone base was originally created as a part of a Donovan Catholic student's Eagle Scout project, which earned an award from the Toms River Board of Education. The site upkeep and flag replacement has been taken care of regularly over the years by the HSN Military Club under the direction of Danielle Stolz.
Over the years, however, the signage itself endured significant wear and tear. Additionally, an unfortunate facet of the original sign was that it incorrectly spelled Maj. Weis's name. It was time for a new and improved sign, and a special event taking place this weekend provided added motivation.
The American Legion and Stolz agreed that new signage should be installed before the NJ Run for the Fallen, which takes place Sept. 25 through 29. High School North Principal Ed Keller gave the go-ahead to do some digging and make arrangements for the project to be completed.
While the new signage-- which is the original with an overlay, and which was enhanced to include freshly planted mums-- has been installed just in time for this race, there are more improvements to come.
"A new permanent metal sign is in the works, and we will be replacing the current one once finished," Keller said.
Once fully complete, it will be "mission accomplished" thanks to a team of students, staff, and community members dedicated to recognizing and honoring our military.