BARNEGAT – The Township Committee was presented with a World War I Service Flag by Ocean County Historian Timothy Hart, to honor those Barnegat residents that served in all branches of the armed forces during the war.
Mayor Frank Caputo noted that about 65 individuals hailing from Barnegat Township – then called Union – served in the armed forces.
“To those families and relatives… we salute you and thank you for your dedication,” said Caputo.
According to Hart, approximately 2,433 people from Ocean County served in WWI, out of a population of about 20,000. This made up about 10.5 percent of the county’s population at the time.
Attendees at the meeting were provided a list of the individuals who served in all branches at the time, including Army, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and Navy.
“In Barnegat there were about 65…we think there was one fatality and 64 people who served,” said Hart.
Hart explained that historians searched through newspapers, draft records, genealogies, and monuments to come up with an accurate number.
Barnegat is the 8th town to receive a flag out of 28 Ocean County towns. Hart noted that there weren’t 33 townships back in 1918 as there are today.
The flag was presented to the committee on behalf of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which “dedicates these commemorative service flags to the valiant men and women from Ocean County who served in the armed forces during the US involvement in the Great War.”
The 28 flags were stitched by the Seaport Stitchers Quilt Guild of Tuckerton for each of the 28 Ocean County towns that existed since 1918.
Each flag has 13 stars, representing the 13 colonies, some blue and some gold. The blue stars represent those that served from the township and the gold, those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Barnegat’s flag has one gold star, representing the one fallen soldier.
Numerous men and women served from other Ocean County towns, such as:
- Barnegat Light (then called Barnegat City): 11
- Beach Haven: 75
- Harvey Cedars: 29
- Lacey: 47
- Little Egg Harbor: 17
- Ocean (Waretown): 42
- Stafford: 79
- Tuckerton: 156