It's hard to believe the summer season is just around the corner.  The long holiday weekend kicks off the start of the tourism season at the Jersey Shore.  The hotels and motels will be booked up, the beaches will be jam-packed and the pools will be filled with people enjoying a splash.  But it's also Memorial Day weekend and it's more than just a day off from work, a barbecue and a ball game.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died fighting for our country.  There are several events planned around the United States as well as the state. 

Locally, several parades and ceremonies will be held marking the occasion.  Veterans and officials alike are urging you to take time out of your fun in the sun to remember why you have the right to be free.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry Little, who is a former serviceman himself, says it's so important to remember those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price for our liberties.

Little says "while we are excited it's the holiday weekend and it will be nice out, we are asking everyone to pause for even just a minute.  Remember those people who did what they can to defend the country.  Because of them, we are able to do a lot of things people in other countries can't do."

Volunteers are placing 15,000 American flags on the graves of the soldiers buried in Ocean County.  Little says "since the war on Terror began, there has been a total of 12 from our area who died.  Recently, there were three and their names will be added to the County's permanent monument alongside the others."

In Toms River, a Memorial Day Parade will take place Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. from Main Street and 166 and finish at town hall on Washington Street.  It's being hosted by the American Legion 129.

There are also ceremonies planned for Lakewood, Manchester, Point Pleasant Beach, Stafford, Beach Haven, Beachwood, Brick, Jackson, Lacey, Lakehurst, Lakewood, Manchester, Ocean Gate, Pine Beach, Plumstead, Seaside Park and Waretown.