The annual Morro Castle commemoration ceremony by the Asbury Park Historical Society will be held every five years from now on, with the next large ceremony scheduled for Sept. 8, 2019.
The logistics to hold an appropriate ceremony at the monument, just south of Convention Hall, requires the closing of the Fifth Avenue access sidewalk to the beachfront- something we cannot accomplish every year, society president Don Stine said.
He said that the ceremony is frequently disturbed by beachgoers and bicyclists using the sidewalk during the 10 a.m. ceremony- something that is a large distraction to the solemnity of the memorial service.
Stine said a wreath will still be placed at the monument every Sept. 8 but that a larger memorial service, with guest speakers and a reading of the victim’s names, will now occur only on the Morro Castle’s fifth anniversaries, the next being in 2019.
The luxury liner caught fire and was eventually ran aground on the Asbury Park beach on Sept. 8, 1934 with the loss of 137 lives.