New Jersey’s captivating Memorial Day tradition
In between the barbecues, beach visits and retail sales that have become an anticipated part of Memorial Day Weekend, a number of New Jerseyans observe the federal holiday with a visit to the first state-run veteran's cemetery.
Each year on the Friday before Memorial Day, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs traditionally invites area scouts, to place flags on the grave markers at the BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Burlington County.
In May 2020, some local veterans' organizations stepped in to ensure the flag placement would not fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to secure roughly 50,000 flags in tribute to fallen military members at the site.
This year, as the state continues to slowly emerge from COVID protocols, more than 300 scouts participated in the tradition.
Among those who have shared photos of this year's memorial flags with New Jersey 101.5 were some members of the Nam Knights of America Motorcycle Club, Tri-Base Chapter based out of Pemberton, as well as New Jersey residents, Rodger Jany and Christine James, whose visits to the site are a way of remembering relatives laid to rest there.