2020 Americanism Award to Tom Cellilli, Jr

Qualifications for receiving the Americanism Award

An individual who has done one or more of the following:

For carrying the torch of freedom that our forefathers handed down to us, so that freedom shall always remain in our hearts; For spreading goodwill as the best method for the creation of a stronger brotherhood of man; For enhancing the interest of fellowmen in the public welfare of his/her community, and for cooperating with others in its civil, social, commercial and industrial development; For endeavors to render patriotic service to our country, in war and peace;

For researching historical facts and contributions made by our founding fathers and the many unsung heroes who have given their lives for our country, and whose sacrifices have helped to shape the destiny of the United States of America; For a desire to acquire more knowledge and a better understanding of the American Constitution, its designers, and those people who have upheld it;

For professional  achievement in the arts and sciences to benefit humanity; For protecting and advocating high cultural standards and family dignity; For protecting and believing in the rights of liberty and happiness as gifts of God. To do so is to believe that freedom must be safeguarded  by law.  Under God this nation was created; under God his nation shall endure.

Thomas H. (Tom) Cellilli, Jr began his appreciation for America and its military history as a teenager. Born in Ludlow, MA in 1942 he was the oldest of three brothers who would all go on to serve our country during the Vietnam Conflict. His father, Tom Sr. was a Navy Veteran of WWII.

After completing his schooling, in 1966 Tom enlisted in the US Army and would spend the next three years serving his country in assignments in the Continental US and overseas. During his service to his country, Tom was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service overseas.

Because of his status as a Disabled Veteran, Tom first joined the Disabled American Veterans organization where he is currently a Life Member of Chapter 16 in Somerville, NJ. Subsequently, Tom was appointed to the Hillsborough Township Veterans Committee. He then joined Hillsborough Memorial VFW Post# 8371 and is a Life Member. He also is a member of the American Legion, Post 1000 in Trenton, NJ. He has now committed his retirement years to assisting veterans and their families.

Tom has been the Post Commander of VFW Post# 8371 since July 2018.  For the past 5 years he has served as Director of the Post Voice of Democracy Essay Contests for students in grades 6 through 12. In 2015 Tom undertook a Post endeavor to have a street named after Hillsborough HS graduate, Marine LCPL James J. Langon IV, who lost his life in the 1983 Beirut Lebanon terrorist bombings. After working on this for six years, Tom proudly unveiled the street sign, "CPL Langon Way", to the boy's parents and township residents.

Tom is also involved in his church, Mary, Mother of God parish in Hillsborough. Tom serves as a Lector/Reader and is a member of the Men's Group. This past year Tom was asked by its Pastoral Staff to chair and create a Parish Veterans group, combining his two major interests.

During the year Tom attends various BSA Troop Eagle Scout Courts of Honor.  He presents to each Eagle Scout a VFW State Department Certificate of Achievement and a check from the Post, which helps defray the costs of the Eagle Scout projects.

Tom works  with the Township officials to provide donations to fund  the Memorial Day Veterans Breakfast and has helped  to fund the  POW-MIA Monument in the  Veterans Garden of Honor at the Hillsborough Municipal building.

Tom has served on the Township's Business Development Committee, The Veterans  Committee and the Capitol Planning Board.

Congratulations Tom for a lifetime living many of the characteristics qualifying you to be the 2020 beneficiary of this award from the UNICO Hillsborough Chapter!

Philomena and Tom Cellili, Jr.

Philomena and Tom Cellili, Jr.