TOMS RIVER – Ocean County officials and veterans commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day in the county’s historic Court Room 1 June 6.
“As we gather in this historic courtroom, let us remember always, that it is our history that shapes our future. It is the cornerstone on which we build each tomorrow,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines, Chairwoman of the Cultural and Heritage Division, said. “So today, as we begin this ceremony 75 years after the invasion of Normandy, let us remember with great pride our Greatest Generation. Let us never forget their sacrifices and let us recall their strength and courage.”
All veterans were recognized, but especially 2nd Lt. Leonard G. “Bud” Lomell, who served as a U.S. Army Ranger during World War II. Lomell, who died 2011, is remembered for taking out German artillery at Point Du Hoc on Normandy’s coast in the earliest hours of D-Day, a mission recreated in many D-Day-centered films, including 1962’s The Longest Day. Lomell’s family attended the ceremony, where he was honored by historian J. Mark Mutter.
Tony Sercel, 101, of Bayville, also attended the ceremony with his family. He was a paratrooper and was a member of the 82nd Airborne in World War II.
Students from Toms River High School South read newspaper clippings about D-Day. Music was provided by members of the Garden State Philharmonic, and Color Guard from American Legion Post 129.