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Mission Hills, USA - November 11, 2015: Fito Magdaleno U.S. Army veteran during The San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade

OCEAN COUNTY- There may be fewer public ceremonies due to the ongoing pandemic, but Ocean County’s Freeholders are asking all residents to remember the nation’s fighting men and women on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

“The virus cannot, and must not stop us from honoring the heroes of America’s wars,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau. “From the subzero cold of Valley Forge to the rocky deserts of Afghanistan, America’s veterans have fought for liberty and freedom around the globe.”

At one point, more than 68,000 veterans lived in Ocean County. Today, that number is closer to 40,000.

“Every day we are losing more and more of our World War II veterans,” Little said. “Their population may be declining, but the Greatest Generation will never be forgotten.”

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said Ocean County will always remember its veterans.

“In recent years we have held ceremonies marking the anniversary of both the Civil War and World War I and World War II,” he said. Scattered throughout of county’s cemeteries are the honored graves of veterans from the Revolution to the ongoing War on Terror.”

Little asked residents to also remember the brave men and women who today are on watch around the globe protecting our freedom.

In 2020, less than 1 percent of all American families have a son or daughter serving in the military.

“These families deserve our thanks,” he said.

Like our nation as a whole, Ocean County has a long and proud history, during which our sons and daughters have left their homes and loved ones behind to fight for freedom,” Little said.

“Freedom fighters fought the battle of the Toms River Blockhouse near the end of the Revolutionary War right here in the county seat, just steps away from where the County Courthouse now stands,” he said. “Generations later, volunteers mustered for both the Civil War and World War I on the courthouse lawn.”

Little said that “a few steps away” sits the county’s War on Terror monument, which lists the 13 brave Ocean County residents who made the ultimate sacrifice since September 11, 2001.

“Veterans Day is a federal, state and county holiday, but I ask everyone, no matter where they may be or what they are doing, to take a few moments and remember our veterans,” Little said.