Ocean County Press Release

AS MEN AND WOMEN wearing the uniform of the United States military remain on watch across the globe, The Ocean County Board of Chosen asked residents to remember Memorial Day and honor all those who serve, and have served this great nation.

"Everyone wants to enjoy a three-day weekend and the start of the summer season, but I hope everyone will take the time to honor both our veterans and those brave servicemen and women fighting for our freedom today," said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau.

Little said the Boston bombings are a stark reminder that the War on Terror is not yet won.

"Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines remain in harm's way so that our families can be kept safe," Little said.

The Freeholders also asked residents to remember the 13 Ocean County servicemen who gave their lives fighting in the War on Terror.

In the days leading up to Memorial Day the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau and a small army of volunteers will continue the tradition of placing American Flags on the graves of veterans in all of the county's cemeteries.

"This tradition dates back to the 1920s and it's a fitting way to remember those who have given so much for their nation," Little said

By Memorial Day weekend, more than 15,000 flags will have been placed on veterans' graves.

Little and Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari visited the historic Riverside Cemetery in Toms River, where they placed several flags, including one on the grave of Civil War veteran Lawrence R. Berrien and his wife Caroline Rose.

Born in 1845, Berrien served in Company A of the 5th New York Infantry Regiment, which fought at Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He died in 1933.

"We never forget our veterans in Ocean County," Vicari said. "From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror, we honor them all."

Freeholder Director John P. Kelly encouraged residents to attend one of the many ceremonies or parades honoring veterans slated for the weekend.

Toms River's annual Memorial Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 27 at Main and Washington Streets in downtown Toms River.

A listing of local parades and other weekend events can be found at www.co.ocean.nj.us.

"Between the barbecues, the picnics and the trips to the beach, let us all remember the true meaning of Memorial Day," Freeholder Deputy Director James F. Lacey said.

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