WEST ORANGE, NJ — The annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony held by the West Orange High School AFJROTC on Nov. 15 was dedicated to the memory of Class of 2015 alumnus and West Point Cadet Christopher “CJ” Morgan, who was killed in a training exercise on June 6, 2019.
Morgan’s death deeply impacted the West Orange community, who celebrated his life at a memorial service on June 11. While at WOHS, Morgan was a standout football player and star wrestler who went on to be named fifth in the state at the wrestling finals in Atlantic City.
He attended West Point Military Academy for one year and then moved on to West Point, where he was set to graduate in 2020. He continued his wrestling career there as well.
Most importantly, Morgan was described as a “kind and caring person who lit up the room the moment he walked in.”
The AFJROTC presented the colors and performed the flag folding ceremony, presenting the flag to Morgan’s parents, April and Chris Sr.
Chase Morgan, CJ’s sister and a member of the AFJROTC, participated in the ceremony as well as the Battle Cross ceremony. The Battle Cross is a marker typically made of a deceased soldier’s rifle, boots, helmet and dog tags. This marker shows honor and respect for the fallen.
Following the moving ceremony, the items were placed in a large display case at the high school in CJ’s honor. The display includes his uniforms, photos and mementos.
To date, the newly-formed Christopher Morgan Foundation and the West Orange Scholarship Fund have raised approximately $100,000 to establish a permanent endowment for CJ. Beginning in 2020 a yearly scholarship in his name will be given to a graduating student from West Orange High School.
Photos Courtesy of WOSD