Navy veteran reflects on fellow service members on Memorial Day

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BELMAR -

On Memorial Day weekend, those who served in the military and gave their lives while fighting for the U.S. are remembered.

Navy veteran Jose Ramos, who enlisted in 1975 and retired in 2004, says he knows very well about the importance of the this holiday.

The retired lieutenant commander rose up from a Navy seaman, serving on a ship his entire career in the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan and more.

"It's about remembering those people who served and died for this country trying to defend our democracy and our way of life,” he says.

Some of the names of WWI veterans who walked the Jersey Shore streets and used its beaches are now on a memorial in Bradley Beach that stands 50 feet tall.

To the south, tucked down a side street in Belmar is a statue of a doughboy, with a rifle in one hand, a grenade in the other and barbed wire at his feet. On the back of the memorial are the names of the infantrymEn who gained that nickname while fighting in the what was dubbed the “war to end all wars.”

"They just passed the ball to me,” says Ramos. “It's the fact that we are trying to continue the work that they did. People are relying on us to keep Democracy alive."

On Monday, there will be ceremonies in towns all across this state to remember those who served.

Ramos says he'll be at the Memorial Day parade in his hometown of Jackson.

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