Pandemic restrictions means no Veterans Day Parade, but Toms River will still hold a ceremony to honor the veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

The town issued a press release saying that due to the ban on large social gatherings, the traditional Veterans Day Parade would be unable to happen as usual. Instead, the Toms River Veterans Commission will hold a ceremony on Wednesday, November 11th at 10:30am at the Protectors of Freedom sculpture in Bey Lea Park at 570 Bay Avenue in Toms River. The ceremony will feature speakers and guests, a military flyover, a rifle salute and the placing of the wreath at the Protectors of Freedom sculpture. In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Toms River Municipal Building at 33 Washington Street, in the L. Manuel Hirshblond Meeting Room on the 2nd floor.

The ceremony will be open to the public, but obviously attendees will have to comply with pandemic restrictions, including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Mayor Maurice B. Hill is reminding area residents that "Although we will not be able to gather for parades and large celebrations on this Veteran’s Day, we all need to pause and reflect on the service and dedication of our veterans who have defended our freedoms at home and around the world and those who ‘stand the watch’ today."

We'd all love to have a big parade going through downtown, but a crowd of that size just doesn't fit in with pandemic restrictions. We've seen St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day, and Halloween parades all cancelled - Veterans Day just fell along with them. Here's to 2021 being a better year!

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