FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Special sales, barbecues with family and friends and the Jersey shore might be typically associated with this long holiday weekend. 

But there's more to Memorial Day than that and the Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony organized by Bob LaCorte reminded attendees of that. 

USCG Auxilary Officer Steve Gillooly reminded attendees that unlike Veterans Day, which focuses on all military veterans, Memorial Day is set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the military.

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Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. President Lyndon B. Johnson officially declared Memorial Day in May of 1966. 

The day was born out of the U.S. Civil War and was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The first state to recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, all northern states recognized the day but it wasn’t until after World War I that the southern states acknowledged the date. 

Congress passed the National Holiday Act in 1971.

Lt. Jack Widowsky discusses a special mission during World War II that many people may be familiar with:

Local, county and state officials attended the commemoration ceremony in addition to local spiritual leaders. 

Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, Freeholder Brian Levine, Mayor Phillip Kramer, Deputy Mayor Carl Wright, Councilman At-Large Rajiv Prasad, Councilwoman At-Large Shanel Robinson, Councilman Theodore Chase (W1), Councilwoman Rozalyn Sherman (W2), Councilman Charles Onyejiaka (W3), and Councilman James Vassanella (W5) were officials in attendance, Danielsen and Kramer shared their thoughts on Memorial Day.

Mayor Phillip Kramer:

Assemblyman Joe Danielsen:

Deacon Barber from First Baptist Church shared some of his thoughts on Memorial Day and his service experience:

Col. Robert Stewart discusses how the Veterans Ministry at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens can help members and non-members of First Baptist Church:

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