BAY HEAD — Borough officials, local first responders and community members came together this weekend to honor and remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the nation’s freedoms.
The borough’s Memorial Day observance began on May 29 with a ceremony inside the meeting hall in the Bay Head Fire Co. No. 1 headquarters. The event was originally anticipated to take place outside borough hall in front of the Veterans Park Monument, but had to be relocated due to the inclement weather.
“This is the first time I can remember it rained this bad on the morning we do this service,” Mayor William Curtis told those in attendance.
“It is my pleasure to welcome you all here to this service, which we have never not held. It is something that we must do in remembrance of those who gave their lives and we are so proud of all of you veterans out there who have served.”
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the borough could not hold its annual ceremony in person last year, but presented a pre-filmed version as officials wanted to make sure the men and women who gave their lives to defend their country were honored and remembered.
In his speech, the mayor reflected on the resilience that the borough and its residents have shown in the face of adversity.
“As I sat down to write some remarks for today I looked back at May 25, 2013. That was right after Superstorm Sandy and I had the honor then to stand before you as we emerged from the destruction brought on by Superstorm Sandy,” he said.
“Here we are again emerging from another disaster, COVID-19. This time it is a worldwide disaster of epic proportions. As in 2013, we were not to be deterred and we are not to be deterred today. Again it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to our traditional Memorial Day service where we remember and honor our fallen comrades. They paid the ultimate price so we would be free to hold services such as this.”
The mayor urged all those in attendance to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day and to thank those they may encounter who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Today and this weekend, let’s forget about the pandemic and take a moment to remember all those men and women who died preserving our freedoms,” Mayor Curtis said.
“If you see a service man or woman on the street, in the store, just say ‘thank you for serving.’ If you get an opportunity to sit with a youngster, talk with them about the true meaning of Memorial Day. Today I want you to take pride in knowing that you all played a part in maintaining our freedom so we could have this service. Thank you for serving.”
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