SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS ago, the dark cloud that had engulfed Europe for nearly six years finally lifted.

Today, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders asked residents to remember Victory in Europe Day and the members of the Greatest Generation that who played a vital role in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

“Let us never forget the brave men and women who left their homes and families to fight tyranny and free the enslaved nations and people of Europe,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Little.

Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau, said more than 16 million Americans answered our nation’s call and fought in World War II. Today, less than 400,000 of these valiant veterans are still with us.

“Let us remember our fathers, our grandfathers and our great-grandfathers who paved Liberty Road from the sands of North Africa through Western Europe to the heart of Germany,” Little said.

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari asked residents to think of the 418,000 Americans who never came home from the war.

“This year we won’t see the usual Victory in Europe ceremonies around our nation and the world marking this solemn day,” Vicari said. “However, each of us can taken a moment to remember these heroes and how they fought and sacrificed so future generations could be free.”

Vicari said Ocean County never forgets its veterans.

Local cemeteries are the final resting place of valiant warriors from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.

“Let us pray for all the heroes who fought for the Stars and Stripes but let us especially honor the World War II veterans who helped defeat evil. They are worthy of our eternal gratitude. They are truly America’s Greatest Generation.”