Almost every day in summer is Veterans Day at Sunset Beach in Cape May Point.
On select evenings throughout the summer, family and friends gather to honor a U.S. veteran at a beachfront flag-lowering ceremony. It’s a moving tribute that often pulls beachgoers off the sand, many of whom end up singing along to the national anthem or pledging allegiance to the flag with their hands over their hearts.
Fittingly, it was a veteran who began the tradition. Marvin Hume, an aviation machinist’s mate in the U.S. Navy during World War II, started the ceremony in 1973, the same year he bought the property, to honor his three best friends who were killed at Pearl Harbor. Hume personally led the services until his death in 2015. Today, his family carries on the observance.
More than 10,000 servicemen and women have been honored since he began the ceremony.
A veteran’s flag flies all day on the day a veteran is honored; each is a casket flag that covered the deceased’s coffin at his or her funeral.
The evening ceremony is stirring, with a tribute by the family, the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, and Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America.” Family members then lower the flag to “Taps,” and staff help them fold the flag military style.
The ceremony is held on Saturdays at 7 pm from Memorial Day Weekend through June, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7 pm throughout July and August, with the final ceremony the Saturday of Labor Day weekend at 7 pm.
Anyone interested in honoring a U.S. veteran should visit sunsetbeachnj.com/flagceremony or call 609-884-7079. Reservations for 2022 are full; reservations for 2023 start on May 1, 2023 at 9 am.
The ceremony is free to the public. The sunset view is also a draw.Click here to leave a comment