A veteran in attendance salutes as High School North's Olivia Badami sings the National Anthem during a Veterans Day celebration at the Protectors of Freedom Monument in Toms River Nov. 11.

Nov. 11, 2020-- The annual Toms River Veterans Day Parade in downtown TR was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that did not stop the town or district from gathering to honor those who have served.

The celebration took place at the Protectors of Freedom Monument in Toms River, a park commissioned by the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation which features monuments sculpted by local artist Brian Hanlon depicting soldiers from each of the five major conflicts since WWI. 

Many Toms River and NJ state leaders were in attendance including Mayor Maurice "Mo" Hill, Congressman Andy Kim, philanthropist Jay Grunin, Toms River councilmembers, and former TR mayor Tom Kellaher.

Also in attendance were many local veterans and their families. Ocean County has the highest number of veterans in the state, with many living and working in Toms River. People in attendance wore masks and maintained proper distances.

Toms River Regional Schools was happy and proud to play a role in the event. High School North student Olivia Badami sang the National Anthem. Silver Bay Elementary School's Evan Weatherby played "Taps." Students from Matt Sohl, Kim General, and Dave Fazinni’s AP Government and Politics and Political and Legal Education classes attended the event, as did district leaders including Superintendent David Healy and assistant superintendents James Ricotta, Cara DiMeo, and Rich Fastnacht were in attendance. Additional photos below.