essex commissioners hold annual veterans celebration

(Newark, NJ) – On Thursday, November 2, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners held its annual Veterans Observance Event. This event is held yearly to honor veterans for their sacrifices and patriotism in defense of our nation, and to recognize veterans from Essex County and their contributions to the community.

This year, the Board recognized Joshua Davis, III of Newark (Air Force), Victor R. Demming of Montclair (Marines), Lawrence Sealey of Newark (Navy), and Maurice McLaughlin of Bloomfield (Navy).

“Tonight, we honor those who gave their time, effort, and in some cases their lives so that our communities can thrive and live freely,” said Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson. “Our nation’s accomplishments are built on the backs of millions of ordinary Americans who made extraordinary sacrifices. To our honorees, and to all veterans in Essex County and across the country, we thank you for your service and your heroism.”

Musical accompaniment was provided by Gabrianna Boomer, and opening and closing prayers were led by Bishop Charles E. Mitchell, Sr., Senior Pastor of Redirect Ministries.

More pictures of the event can be seen here, and a recording of the event can be viewed here.


Joshua Davis, III entered the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant on Jan 15, 1988.  He was placed into Individual Ready Reserve in 1993, where he remained until the end of 2005. As a satellite requirements and test officer, Mr. Davis oversaw the implementation of satellite support requirements for SKYNET IV which resulted in its successful launch from the European Space Agency in Kourou, French Guiana, in 1989. He modified and modernized the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) to accommodate new satellites and operational requirements. He also directed the design, development and installation of a new satellite management and tracking board for the AFSCN at Onizuka Air Force Base in Sunnyvale, California. After active duty, Joshua Davis taught for the Newark Public School system for 15 years and is currently an adjunct math professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Victor R. Demming enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963, immediately after graduating from South Side High School. He completed a four-year tour of duty that included 13-months in Viet Nam. Following the Marine Corps, Mr. Demming attended Montclair State University and graduated in 1971 with a BA in business. Later, he received an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and School Business Administrator and School Administrator certifications from Kean and Saint Peter’s Universities. After a successful corporate career with Wakefern Foods Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, and General Mills Fashion Group IZOD Ltd., Mr. Demming became comptroller for East Orange School District and was later promoted to School Business Administrator/Board Secretary. In 1989, Victor Demming was appointed as State School Business Administrator/Board Secretary. In 1993, he was appointed as Acting State Superintendent of Schools for Jersey City. He has also served as the Assistant Superintendent for Business/Board Secretary for Irvington Public Schools and School Business Administrator/Board Secretary for Plainfield Public Schools. In February 2018, he retired as School Business Administrator/Board Secretary for East Orange School District. Mr. Demming is a proud member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Montclair,  where he is the moderator of the Worship Committee, Co-chair of the Student Aid Committee, member of the Trinity Presbyterian Men, Senior Choir, Men’s Choir, and moderator of the annual “Men Who Cook” event. He is Treasurer of the Montclair Neighborhood Council Board of Trustees and a member of the American Legion Crawford Crews Post 251. He performs with the South Side Alumni Chorus and the Solid Rock Ensemble Chorus.

Lawrence Sealey, known as “Larry” to friends and family, was born in Newark, New Jersey, on January 4, 1955.  He is the eldest son of Madelyn White. In 1973, Mr. Sealey enrolled in the U.S. Navy, where he served for six years.  He was an E5 Boiler Technician. After his service in the Navy, Lawrence Sealey worked in the Veteran’s readjustment program for six months and then joined Picatinny Arsenal, where he worked for 27 years. He was the first and only African American Supervisor in the history of Picatinny Arsenal. Mr. Sealey currently works as an armed security guard at Applebee’s and supervises the security detail at CityPlex12 Theatre in Newark, New Jersey. He is the proud father of six children and resides in Newark, working part-time as a Constable.  He is also a Prince Hall Mason and was elected as the St. James 61 Worshipful Master.

Maurice McLaughlin graduated from St. Rose High School in Belmar, Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts, New York Law School with a Juris Doctor, and New York University School of Law with a Masters of Law. He served on active duty in the Navy from 1985-1990 as a surface warfare officer on the USS Shasta and also on the USS Gray. He was deployed twice, once for Operation Earnest Will during the Iran-Iraq Tanker War. He then served in the Navy reserves until 1993. He also served in the U.S. Merchant Marine while he was in the Reserves from 1991-1992, in the Hawaiian Islands and the Bronx. Today, Mr. McLaughlin is a lawyer with McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC in Totowa.  He is also an author for Gann Law Books in Newark. He serves as a mediator for the Superior Court and an arbitrator on the Supreme Court’s Fee Arbitration Committee, and he volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America in Bloomfield, Legal Services of New Jersey, and Volunteer Lawyers for Justice.  He is a trustee on the Suburban Essex Chamber of Commerce.  He was also an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson from 1999-2012 and a Commissioner on the Bloomfield Civil and Human Rights Commission from 2018-2021. Maurice McLaughlin lives in Bloomfield with his wife, Tracey, and three children, Tess, Kevin, and Peter.

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For Additional Information - Contact:
Adam Tucker, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
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