Ocean County Press Release
THERE WILL BE no parades, no solemn ceremonies with flags at half-staff and Taps playing in the background.
Like everything else this spring, Memorial Day will be prisoner of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Despite the lack of public gatherings, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is asking residents to remember our fallen veterans on Memorial Day.
"The long Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season, but it is also a time to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our freedoms," said Freeholder Gerry P. Little.
Memorial Day is typically celebrated throughout the county with gatherings at local parks, where uniformed veterans from local posts join elected officials and residents in memorializing the county's honored dead.
"While we cannot gather together, each of us can reflect on our veterans and honor them in our own way," said Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau.
Little said Ocean County "never forgets" its veterans and has held numerous ceremonies honoring those who fought from the Civil War through the ongoing War on Terror.
"We are thankful for their sacrifices. We pray for them and their families as we pray for all of our men and women in harm's way. And we know, that thanks to their bravery, America will remain a shining beacon of freedom and liberty," Little said.
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari asked residents to also remember the men and women now serving on the frontlines.
"As we enjoy the warm weather and time with our families, let's take a moment and think of those Americans serving in uniform today," Vicari said. "They are the heroes from our local towns, volunteering to protect our homes and our loved ones."
Memorial Day was first held following the Civil War, to honor those who perished in America's bloodiest conflict. After World War I, the day was changed in tribute to all of the nation's fallen heroes.
In the century since World War I, more than 626,000 Americans have lost their lives fighting America's wars. More than 82,000 Americans also remain unaccounted for or missing in action from those conflicts.