BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar paid tribute to those who served this nation during its annual Veterans Day service, acknowledging the veterans who stood among the crowd yesterday morning at Monument Row along Main Street.
At the invitation of retired Army Col. Jim Bagley of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Manasquan Post 1838 who led the observance, some 20 veterans came to the microphone to identify themselves — and be personally recognized by attendees of the timed-honored event.
“Your presence here tells veterans that their service matters and is valued,” Bagley said, adding that Belmar has a proud history of residents with military service.
One by one, each veteran gave his name, branch of service and tour of duty to an appreciative audience gathered at the small park, where three war memorials stand between 12th and 13th Avenues.
“We honor our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who are serving and have served on behalf of this grateful country,” Bagley said.
In selflessly stepping forward to protect this country, he said veterans have “brought faith, hope and liberty to those around the world.”
“The debt owed to these defenders is ever-present, and it’s important that on this Veterans Day we keep alive (their) memories, sacrifices and accomplishments,” added Bagley, whose VFW post has a membership of nearly 300 veterans from the southern region of Monmouth County, including Belmar and Lake Como.
Today, there are nearly 18 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces, including some 320,000 in New Jersey and 40,000 in Monmouth County, according to various published sources.
Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919 on the first anniversary of the end of World War I. On May 13, 1938, the federal government declared November 11 a federal holiday. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation striking the word “armistice” in favor of “veterans” to honor American veterans of all wars, according to the Belmar Historical Society.
To view of video of Belmar's Veterans Day Services, click here.
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