BELMAR - New Jersey beaches were packed with sunbathers today after the morning rain cleared and residents enjoyed the Memorial Day holiday.

Swimmers said the ocean water was a bit chilly, but they were happy to be at the beach nonetheless.

One group of beachgoers said Memorial Day kicks off their summer routine of setting up behind one of the lifeguard stands to talk sports, read and sunbathe with friends.

Patty Ryan, of Morganville, says her Memorial Day beach tradition includes planting American flags at the beach to honor service men and women and to remind beachgoers of their sacrifices.