BARNEGAT, NJ - Like many proud moms, Dee Lynch of Barnegat has some photographs of her children that bring back fond memories. One of those dates back to Memorial Day 2015, a year her son participated in a tribute to fallen soldiers at Barnegat's downtown gazebo.  Amid the pandemic, honoring the veterans who gave their lives has changed this year by way of social distancing concerns.

At the time. James Lynch was a member of Troop 26, Barnegat's original Boy Scout Troop. His former Scout Master Susan Thalheimer assembled her troop to salute the nation's heroes.  Thalheimer and Lynch are seen in Dee's favorite picture with fellow scouts, Alex Chuderski,, and RJ Roemer.

Area scouts have been an integral part of Memorial Day remembrances in Barnegat for a very long time.  This is the first year they were not permitted to help place flags on the graves of local veterans. Back in 2015, Dee took to social media to compare the American flag to the country's veterans and pride as a nation.

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“These flags may be tattered and show some wear and tear, but their colors don't run no matter what condition they're in,” wrote Dee. “I liken it to our veterans and pride as a nation. No matter what adversity we are going through, we face it. Head on, ever vigilant, exhausted, tired and with every fiber of our being.”

“God and country are what it's all about,” Dee continued. “The faith of our God and the unwavering and dedicated belief of our nation's foundation will always be our fuel... God Bless America.”

Five years ago, Dee had no idea that America would be fighting another type of battle on our soil. Her words were intended to honor the sacrifices of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for freedom. Now, that same diligence shines forth in the spirits of all those in the war against the coronavirus.

This Memorial Day, the scouts were not part of the Barnegat's tribute at the gazebo. The gathering was limited to a select few. Their salutes will be missed.

Meanwhile, American Legion Post 232 in conjunction with Barnegat VFW Post 10092  livestreamed their Memorial Day Service yesterday and can be viewed on the American Legion's website.  Today, they are requesting a moment of silence at 3pm.

 TAPintoBarnegat/Waretown thanks all past and present military members for their service. Today, we join in remembering those whose lives were lost fighting for our freedom.