ONE HUNDRED YEARS ago, hundreds of men from Ocean County were among the thousands of American troops fighting among the hellish trenches of the Western Front during the “War to End all Wars.”
One year later, on November 11, 1918 the nightmare that was World War I would finally end.
Today, we remember those veterans, and all of the men and women who have worn, and continue to wear the uniforms of the United States Armed Forces.
“From the snowy forests of Bastogne to the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, America’s veterans have fought for liberty and freedom around the globe,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little. “Let us take the time on November 11 to say thank you for all of their great sacrifices.”
Today, there are more than 18 million veterans in the United States, including nearly 4 million disabled vets. Ocean County is home to 68,000 veterans, the most of any county in New Jersey.
“Just as our troops today are waging war on terror, their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents fought against tyranny on the shores of Normandy, the rice paddies of Korea, the sweltering jungles of Southeast Asia and the deserts of the Middle East,” Little said. “Throughout the 20th century and now in the 21st century, these soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who have answered their nation’s call deserve our greatest thanks and respect.”
Little, who is also liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau, asked residents to also remember the 13 Ocean County residents who have given their lives in the ongoing War on Terror.
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari encouraged residents to attend one of the many Veterans Day ceremonies planned throughout the county.
In Toms River, the annual Veterans Day Parade marches down flag-lined Main Street and Washington Street beginning at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, November 13.
Ocean County College will hold a Tribute to Veterans at 12 noon on Friday, November 10 on its Toms River campus.
A complete list of Veterans Day events is available on the Ocean County Government Homepage at www.co.ocean.nj.us.
Today, nearly 9.3 million veterans are 65 years old or older. About 6.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam era.
World War II veterans number less than 930,000, according to 2015 census figures.
“No matter what their age or their background, all of our veterans have one thing in common – they served their country with honor and bravery. They will never be forgotten,” Vicari said.
Vicari and Little also invited veterans to attend a special free event on Wednesday November 8 from 11 am to 3 pm at the County Connection in the Ocean County Mall.
A number of organizations including The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and The Vietnam Veterans of America will be on hand to educate veterans about the benefits they provide to those who have served.