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UPDATE: Bruce Willis Not a CMCo Favorite Son; New Info Added

UPDATE: Bruce Willis Not a CMCo Favorite Son; New Info Added

By Christopher South

Commissioner Director Leonard Desiderio said he doesn’t know what actor Bruce Willis has ever done for Cape May County. The Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution, March 26, asking the NJ Highway Authority to consider naming the Ocean View Service Plaza after someone local, not Willis.
Freeholder Vice-Director Leonard Desiderio at the July 9 meeting.  
File Photo
Commissioner Director Leonard Desiderio said he doesn’t know what actor Bruce Willis has ever done for Cape May County. The Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution, March 26, asking the NJ Highway Authority to consider naming the Ocean View Service Plaza after someone local, not Willis.

CREST HAVEN – The Cape May County Board of County Commissioners balked at the idea of renaming the Ocean View Service Plaza after actor Bruce Willis, and as an alternative recommended naming it after Civil War veteran Sgt. Andrew J. Tomlin from the Goshen section of Middle Township.

At the Tuesday, March 26, commission meeting, the board passed a resolution recommending that the New Jersey Highway Authority not name the service plaza for actor Bruce Willis, but instead name it after a local veteran or community leader “with close ties and contributions to our County of Cape May.”

Commissioner Director Leonard Desiderio acknowledged that Willis is a well-known celebrity from New Jersey, but added, “I don’t know what he’s done for Cape May County.”

County Clerk Rita Rothberg said at the commission meeting that Willis worked with her brother unloading trucks in North Wildwood, and during breaks her brother would bring him home, where their mother served them cold drinks.

After the meeting the county issued a press release saying Tomlin, while holding the rank of corporal, “displayed exceptional bravery and selflessness during his service in the Civil War, specifically in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher.”

According to the county, Tomlin served on the USS Wabash during the Fort Fisher assault, as one of 200 marines assembled to hold the line entrenchments in the rear of the fort. Tomlin refused to retreat in the face of enemy fire and remained in his position throughout the night until relief troops arrived.

“Cpl. Tomlin even at one point risked his own life to advance through active attack to assist a wounded soldier struck by enemy fire. His heroic actions exemplify the values of honor, sacrifice, and dedication to duty that we hold dear in our state and country,” the county said in its release.

The New Jersey Highway Authority decided to name service plazas after New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees such as James Gandolfini, Connie Chung, Whitney Houston and Willis, who is from Penns Grove, Salem County.

Contact the author, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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