Happy Memorial Day
Memorial Day Weekend is a time that has become known for barbecues and parties with friends on the three-day weekend that signals the beginning of summer. At this point, your barbecues are over, the reality you have to go back to work is setting in, and you are maybe already planning your upcoming workouts to burn all of the excess calories from the past few days. However, we can’t forget the real reason for Memorial Day and that is to remember those who have protected America’s freedom throughout the years. Celebrate these heroes because we are free to do so, but there are other ways to thank them as well. This summer, take advantage of the nice weather and try to visit some of these monuments scattered throughout the state.
Korean War Memorial (Source: Jackie, Flickr)
Korean War Memorial – Atlantic City, NJ
You probably thought that the only reason to go to Atlantic City was the casinos, right? Well, a trip to AC can also be a way to celebrate your pride as an American (and I’m not talking about the freedom to gamble). Unlike WWII or other military victories America has had, the Korean War is shrouded in controversy. It is sometimes even known as a “police action” and not a war depending on who talks about it. Either way, Americans gave their lives for Democracy and for their loved ones. This memorials honors that sacrifice regardless of opinion.
To learn more visit, http://www.state.nj.us/military/korea/.
World War I Memorial – Atlantic City, NJ
To further prove the point that AC has more than casinos, it is also home to the state’s WWI Memorial. World War I saw a large shift in the way combat was conducted. The improvement in military technology took war from close combat on the battlefield to long range firepower causing stalemates in the trenches for long periods of time. Little did they know at the time, this would not be the last time our military would need to enter Europe to protect our freedom, but this was the first time our veterans had to prevent us all speaking German today.
Battleship New Jersey (Source: Wolle8ball, Wikimedia)
Battleship New Jersey – Camden, NJ
As it should be, the Battleship New Jersey is America’s “most decorated Battleship,” the site proudly proclaims. Commanded at one point by NJ resident Admiral William Frederick Halsey, she was a force in the Pacific Theater from 1942 until the end of WWII. She served the naval forces in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well as in smaller conflicts up until 1991 for the final decommission. The Battleship New Jersey now lives on as a museum on Camden’s Waterfront.
To find out more about visiting this living piece of American history, visit the website at www.battleshipnewjersey.org.
NJ Naval Museum – Hackensack, NJ
Whether or not you think being stuck in a metal cylinder at the bottom of the ocean would be exciting, taking a tour of the USS Ling is an opportunity that should not be passed up. Although originally created for combat, the Ling eventually was transformed into a training vessel and berthed at Brooklyn for some time. The museum also boasts two war prize submarines obtained from the German and Japanese naval forces as well as a river patrol boat from the Vietnam War.
To find out more about the NJ Naval Museum, visit www.njnm.com.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Source: SeanMD80, Wikimedia)
New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Holmdel, NJ
The Vietnam War shaped an entire generation of America and had long reaching consequences for the world. Many lives were lost in what many feel was a wasteful conflict. This memorial was created in 1982 to pay homage to those individuals. If you have been to a concert at PNC Bank Arts Center, you have likely already been here or seen the signs. This place is open all of the time and costs nothing to visit. There are 1,562 names listed chronologically on the memorial honoring every person from New Jersey who was killed or listed as MIA.
To access the entire database of names and learn more about the monument, visit the website at www.njvvmf.org.
Old Barracks Museum – Trenton, NJ
The Old Barracks are exactly that: old. Being the oldest place on this list by far, the Barracks were even around during the French and Indian War. At the Museum, you can see the marching grounds tread upon by countless soldiers throughout the years. It is essentially the point at which America became a reality because it is at these Barracks that the Hessians were caught off guard by Washington’s crossing of the Delaware.
To learn more, visit www.barracks.org.
WWII Memorial – Trenton, NJ
World War II was the time for the “Greatest Generation” to earn that name through the victory the Allied forces achieved. From the women working in the factories to the Victory Gardens grown in the States to the men who were on the front lines, there was no American citizen alive at that time who was not in some way working toward the same goal. It was a long time coming, but finally NJ dedicated a memorial in 2008. To acknowledge the all for one attitude at that time, the memorial covers every aspect of American life that pertained to the War.
To see a gallery of the memorial and more, visit http://www.nj.gov/military/veterans/wwii_memorial/.
Hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day and thanks again to all of those who have served in the armed forces to defend America.