Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day Events to Remember and Honor Those Who Gave All

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself” —Joseph Campbell

The term “hero” is thrown around more often than it actually should be, but you will know a real hero when you see one. They are people who do something for the greater good in an unselfish act.

There will be a special Memorial Day post this year so that we actually honor that fact!
(the video is from 2010, so the numbers of OEF and OIF fallen is higher now)

From Cathy Haynes

MEMORIAL DAY/weekend events:  Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings.
  • Armed Forces Day primarily honors those persons who are currently serving our country.
  • Veterans Day primarily honors those who have served in the past.
  • Memorial Day primarily honors those who died while in service to our country, those who have given their lives for the nation’s freedom and the freedom of others.
While it is always appropriate to thank someone in our military services, past and present, Memorial Day is a day for those no longer with us.  It was meant to be a more solemn day, rather than celebratory with parties and sales….  

Display in Oviedo - May 21 to 29 – Fallen Floridians’ Memorial Cross Tribute – Started by the children of a local fallen soldier and formerly located at the Lawton House,  Most Precious Blood Catholic Church is honored to display this Memorial of our Florida soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Jim Vanderbleek created the tribute to honor our Florida soldiers who died while serving Iraq and Afghanistan. Now this powerful memorial travels throughout the state of Florida.  Persons are invited to walk amongst the crosses daily from 9am to 8am.   113 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, 32765.  Ceremony on Monday at this site.  Info:  407-365-3231.  


Ocoee’s Memorial Day Ceremony –11am – Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 125 North Lakeshore Drive, Ocoee, 34761 (west Orange County.)  The keynote speaker will be Army First Sergeant (ret.) Daniel Kalagian, an Ocoee resident.  He was on active duty in the 1980s and later started his 23 year career with the Bridgeport Connecticut Police Department as an officer and detective. During his military career, he served in Iraq and in Guantanamo Bay after Sept. 11, 2001. Kalagian now serves as the new commander of the West Orange VFW Post 4305 in Winter Garden.  He also leads a service platoon with The Mission Continues, a veteran-led non-profit that helps veterans transform their drive to serve from the military to the civic community. The Memorial Day ceremony will include a processional to the Ocoee Memorial Wall where a wreath will be set in place.  The Memorial Wall is inscribed with the names of Ocoee residents who gave their lives for freedom. Allyson Bellochi, a senior at Ocoee High School, will sing the National Anthem and Charisma Tran, “Miss Young Preteen Earth United States”, will sing patriotic songs. Ely Martinez, a junior at Ocoee High School, will play Taps to honor fallen soldiers.    In addition, there will be ceremonial flag presentations by the Ocoee Police and Fire Department Honor Guards.  After the ceremony, refreshments will be served.   For more information, please call 407-905-3100 or visit www.  


9/11 Memorial Beam Moving – Sat. May 27 - The Avenue Viera is pleased to announce that it will be the new home of the World Trade Center Beam that is currently located at NASA Kennedy Space Center Fire Station 1. This seven-foot long, one-ton steel beam was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.  Starting at 9am, it will make its way from Kennedy Space Center through Brevard County to its final placement at The Avenue Viera, 2261 Town Center Ave., Ste. 113, Viera, 32940. 
One week later, June 3, the official dedication ceremony will be held at The Avenue Viera at 10am.  

Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony - 10am - 11:30am -- Canaveral National Cemetery, 5525 Highway 1 in Mims. Main Flag Pole.   Veterans will be honored for their service and sacrifice.   The keynote speaker will be Air Force Gen. Wayne Monteith, Commander of the 45th Space Wing and Director of Eastern Range at Patrick AFB and a guest speaker will be Colonel Danny McKnight. Since there is limited seating lawn chairs are welcome.   

Cypress Grove Park Memorial Day Salute - 9:45am to 12noon – 290 Holden Ave., Orlando, 32839 in South Orlando.  VFW Post 2093 Community Band will be performing a Prelude, patriotic guest speaker, POW/MIA Remembrance and folding of the Flag; Veterans pinning ceremony, Free and all persons welcome, especially veterans.  Bring your lawn chairs or blankets.  Info:  407-254-6770 or 407-855-5877.  

Celebration’s Memorial Day Flag Ceremony – 10am – at Founders Park, Campus St, Celebration, 34747 in Osceola County.   The flag ceremony will honor the men and women who have bravely and selflessly defended our country, and will celebrate and pay tribute to our nation’s heroes.  The Celebration Veterans’ Club, Boy and Girl Scout Troops and the Garden Club of Celebration are helping to host this ceremony. The Celebration Community Chorus will put on a special performance recognizing US military members.  Info:  407-566-1200.  

Statue unveiling – 5:30pm - The statue of Marine Lance CPL Antoine Smith will be unveiled at 5:30 at First Baptist Church Orlando, 3000 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, 32805.  Antoine was a graduate of Dr. Phillips High School, and 22 yrs old when killed in 2004 during the battles of Fallujah in Iraq. He was the only child and son of Deborah Smith.  There will also be statue display and tributes on Sunday. Info:  407-218-2938.  


Statue unveiling and display – 8:30, 10 and 11 am - The statue of Marine Lance CPL Antoine Smith will be unveiled at First Baptist Church Orlando, 3000 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, 32805.  Antoine was a graduate of Dr. Phillips High School, and 22 yrs old when killed in 2004 during the battles of Fallujah in Iraq. He was the only child and son of Deborah Smith.  Tributes at 8:30, 10 and 11 am.  Info:  407-218-2938.  

Taft Cemetery – 10:30 - American Legion Dorie Miller Memorial Post #331 will place flags on veteran’s graves beginning about 10:30 with a ceremony to follow.   501 Landstreet Rd., Orlando, 32824 in south Orlando.  Public invited.  Post phone: 407-294-3548.  

American Legion Post 112 Memorial Day Commemoration – 2pm – The Post members along with Sea Cadets, Fleet Reserve, and Boy Scouts assist with ceremony.  Special guest speaker Major Mike Ramsey, the Executive Officer from UCF’S Army ROTC dept.  Public invited. Post#112 at 4490 N. Goldenrod Rd., Winter Park, 32792 (btwn Aloma Blvd and University Blvd.)  Info:  407-671-6404  

City of Rockledge Memorial Day Ceremony – 2 to 3pm - This 3nd annual event in Brevard County will feature patriotic music, Honor Guards from VFW Post 4534 (Rocket Post), Rockledge Police Department, and the laying of a ceremonial wreath. Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, guest speakers include Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Port Commissioner and Navy Adm. Wayne Justice (ret.), and A.F. Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Boston Alexander, and Col. Danny McKnight, U.S. Army (ret.).  Larry L. Schultz Park at 2560 Fiske Blvd, on the corner of Fiske Blvd and Levitt Parkway in Rockledge.  Info:  www. cityofrockledge .org  321-221-7540.  

National ‎Memorial Day Concert - 8pm Live on your local PBS TV station (WUCF, or other local PBS.) This live concert is from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC.  Joe Mantegna and Laurence Fishburne, both acclaimed actors dedicated to veterans’ causes and supporting our troops in active service, will host this star-studded lineup on stage for one of PBS' highest-rated programs. Gary Sinise will present a 75th anniversary salute to the Doolittle Raiders, the daring aviators who changed the course of World War II in the Pacific.  It will feature a tribute to the last surviving Doolittle Raider, Colonel Richard Cole. (This 101 yr old living history treasure is a frequent guest at our Florida Titusville Warbirds Airshow.)  A multi-award-winning television event, it has become an American tradition, honoring the military service and sacrifice of all our men and women in uniform, their families at home and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Check your local channel guide.  See WUCF website for more information, stories, and ways to become locally involved. The Concert will be taped and aired again at 9:30pm.  

MEMORIAL DAY -  MON.  MAY 29 – alphabetical by county  

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 pm local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.  


Honoring America’s Fallen Heroes - 9am - 10:30am – Ceremony at Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Park, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island, 32952.  Guest speaker Air Force BG Wayne Monteith of the 45th Space Wing.  WW2 Merchant Marines will be highlighted and presented with special pins.  Capt. Ed Lanni (ret.) who has 40+ years of sea service, including the WW2 MM will be attending. Merritt Island H.S. JROTC is the Color Guard; Sea Cadets and scouts will be assisting.  321-453-1776.  

Memorial Day Parade in Downtown Melbourne – 10am - Hosted by the American Legion Post 81, this annual event to honor and remember America’s Veterans on corner of E. New Haven Avenue and Helen Street.  Wreath laying at Melbourne Cemetery.  

Titusville: The city’s annual Memorial Day observance will take place at 10 a.m. May 29 at Veterans Memorial Park, 2 Broad St. The event is sponsored by American Legion Post 1 and supported by Titusville’s Flag and Memorial Committee. Many civic and fraternal organizations will participate with color guard and honor guard units, as well as the laying of memorial wreaths. (Courtesy of Viera Voice)  

Melbourne Memorial Day – 11am - Ceremony with the Massing of the Colors, guest speaker Chris Nielsen, music by the Melbourne Municipal Band, and other patriotic actions.  Liberty Bell Memorial Museum, 1601 Oak St., Melbourne.  Presented by Honor America.  Free.  Info:  321-727-1776.  

Veterans Sail For Free On Memorial Day - Victory Casino Cruises honors and remembers the men and women who died while serving in our country's armed forces. All Veterans sail for free with us on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29 as we thank them for their service to our country. AM & PM cruise, 11am - 12am.  180 Christopher Columbus Drive.  Contact them for add’l info.  

Titusville: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 4228 will recognize military members who died in combat. The event will include a speaker, entertainment and food. It will take place at 2 p.m. May 29 on the VFW grounds at 4411 Capron Road in Titusville.  (Courtesy of Viera Voice)  

12th Annual City of Cocoa Memorial Day Parade and Tribute - Commemorating all the men and woman who bravely gave their lives for our country.   5:45pm – 7:30pm at Cocoa's Riverfront Park.  A tribute parade will begin with Grand Marshall, Albert Zimmerman beginning at 5:45 pm-6:15 pm. The parade Route is through Cocoa Village along Delannoy Ave., Harrison St., Brevard Ave. & Maryland Ave. A Static Display for viewing from 6:15 pm-7:30 pm. A Formal Stage Presentation will begin promptly at - 6:30 pm in Riverfront Park under the band shell. Opening Remarks by Mayor Henry U. Parrish, III; Guest Speaker is Army LCol   Scott N. Beach, (ret.).  Info:  Leisure Services  321- 635-7702.  


Clermont Memorial Day Observance – 11am - Waterfront Pavilion on Lake Minneola, 330 Third Street. VFW Post #5277, Tomoka Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution and I.W. Hatcher,Jr. Detachment 1120 of Marine Corp League. Also participating will be the South Lake High School JROTC ; Mr. Jim Hanks; Knights of Columbus and South Lake scouts. There will be a container for small toiletry items for Operation Shoebox that sends military care packages to the troops. Also, bring any old flags that need to be retired/disposed of properly. Info:  Susan DeHart 352-242-2394 or Andy Smith 352-874-3064.   

Memorial Day Ceremony – 4pm - Join AMVETS Post 2006 and others as they honor our military men and women who gave their all.   Honor Guard, Bagpipes, local city and county officials, dignitaries, and more.  Snack is offered (limited supply) and specialty beverages are available.  * Everyone is welcome. * Meet at AMVETS Post 2006 at 500 N Canal St, Leesburg, 34748   Info:  amvets2006 .com


Winter Garden Memorial Day – 8:30am – 25th anniversary of Ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park, 420 S. Park Ave., Winter Garden, 34787.   Army Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz (ret.) is the featured speaker. A Roll Call of Veterans and a placement of wreaths will be presented with patriotic songs performed as we invoke pride, honor and respect for our veterans. Refreshments will be served. Info:  Theo Graham at 407-656-2021.  

Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park – 9am - The Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation (CFVMPF) will be hosting at the Memorial adjacent to the VA Medical Center at Lake Nona.  The Guest Speaker is U.S. Congressman Darren Soto, FL-9th District.  We will also have remarks from Ms. Kathleen L. Cole, Acting Director, Orlando VA Medical Center.  Following the ceremony a briefing will be given by Ms. Teresa Turner, the new Orlando Fisher House Director on the Fisher House at the VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. The Memorial Wall panels feature the names of fallen warriors from the six county area (Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia) who served in WWI to the present day conflicts.   

Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando – 9 to 9:30am– Traditional ceremony at the Veterans Section of the cemetery, 1603 Greenwood St., Orlando, 32801, downtown Orlando.  Hosted by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, with OPD Honor Guard.  Special guest speaker is Army Capt. Raymond Beard.  Public is invited.  Contact Information: 407-246-2616. (Time allowed to get to Or. Co. Courthouse ceremony)  

Orange County Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony – 10am –11am Orange County Courthouse, south side, 425 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, 32801.   Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council will express eternal gratitude.  Also attending Orlando City Mayors’ Veterans Advisory Council.  Keynote speaker will be local Brigadier General Helen G. Pratt, Commanding General 4th Marine Logistics Group, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.  U.S. Army Orlando Recruiting Company Color Guard, singers, high school brass quintet and JROTC, and more.  We will remember and honor members of the armed forces from Orange County who ultimately sacrificed their lives while serving our country.   Info:  407-836-7370.  

Woodlawn Memorial Park Ceremony - 10am - 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Rd., Gotha, 34734 (southwest Orange County.)  Veteran organizations, Scouts, rifle volley, Taps, the tolling of the replica Liberty Bell in memory of the dead of all wars, and a possible fly-over.  Guest speakers are Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Lt Col. Robert Carter of the US Army Institute of Surgical Research.  Info: 407-293-1361.  

Glen Haven Memorial Park - 11am to 1pm - 2300 Temple Dr., Winter Park, 32789.  Emceed by WFLA's Bud Hedinger.  Commemorating the Fall of Saigon with Guest Speaker, Colonel Gerald Berry, USMC (ret.) who flew Ambassador Graham Martin out of Saigon in 1975. Patriotic musical salute provided by VFW 2093 Community Band and vocalist, Charles Haugabrooks. Reflections of War presented by Florida Reenactment Society and Winter Springs High School Army JROTC.  WW2 veterans who will attend include Lt. John Holmes – 8th Air Force, England, who was a B-24 Liberator bombardier with 31 missions over Europe.  All men and women who served during the Vietnam era will be presented a commemorative pin by the American-Vietnamese ladies of the Vietnam Unforgettable Memories Foundation. Info:  407.647.1100  


Osceola Memory Gardens – 8:30-9:30am - Ceremony by the Osceola County Veterans Council and and the Civil Air Patrol Cadets Squadron FL-463.  Public invited.  1717 Old Boggy Creek Rd., Kissimmee, 34744.  The group generally proceeds to St. Cloud for the ceremony at Mount Peace Cemetery.  Info: Vanessa at 407-892-2155   Vanessa.Roman@ OsceolaMemGds .com  

Mount Peace Cemetery – 10am-12 noon, 755 E. 10th St., St. Cloud, 34769.  City of St. Cloud is a co-sponsor of the annual American Legion Post 80 and VFW Post 3227 Memorial Day Service. Guest speakers are St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell, Florida Dept. of American Legion Vice Cmdr Steve Shuga, and Christine Falkowski, a veteran and American Legion Riders Director.  Also with AMVETs Post#33, first responders and scouts.  Everyone is invited to remember and honor those who gave their all in the service of their country.  Hot dogs at the VFW Post after ceremony.  407-892-8808.    


Significance of Poppies – 9am - Oviedo Veterans Tribute - Center Lake Park.   A local Gold Star Daughter is completing a Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Come get one of the 800 handmade poppies at the Park's Memorial Day Ceremony.  In addition, a flyer made by her, will explain certain "symbols of sacrifice," like the meaning of poppies, Gold Star Flag and Gold Star Pin. It will also mention her "Patriotic Girl Scout" Pinterest Page and a You Tube Video link- showing the steps of "how to make poppies." All are invited to attend.  

Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony - 10am - 12noon - For spectators and family, the fun starts at 9 AM with music, stilt walkers and lots of fun!  The Parade – abt 60+ units- starts at 10 AM on 1st Street, at Sanford Avenue to Park Avenue, then it will turn north on Park Avenue arriving at Veterans Memorial Park, 110 E. Seminole Blvd, Sanford, 32771.  A Remembrance Ceremony starts at 11am.  Dignitaries and officials will provide a tribute.  There will be patriotic music and a dueling three-volley salute between the Sanford Police Department and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.  There will also be a helicopter fly-over.  Many of the county and Central Florida area veteran service groups will be participating with Color Guards and military vehicles to give ‘Thanks’ to those who have served, continue to serve and to mourn with the family members.  Hosted by City of Sanford and Seminole County Area Veterans Advisory Council (SCAVAC). Info:   Jennifer at 407.688.5120,www. sanfordfl .gov  

Fallen Floridians’ Memorial Cross Tribute – 11am – Ceremony – Started by the children of a local fallen soldier and formerly located at the Lawton House, Most Precious Blood Catholic Church is honored to display this Memorial of our Florida soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Jim Vanderbleek created the tribute to honor our Florida soldiers who died while serving Iraq and Afghanistan. Now this powerful memorial travels throughout the state of Florida.  Persons are invited to walk amongst the crosses daily from 9am to 8am.   113 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, 32765.  Info:  407-365-3231.    


Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell – 11am - 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell, 33513.  Traditional and touching ceremony.  Guest speaker is US Congressman Daniel Webster, FL-11th District.  Steve Jerve of WFLA News Channel 8 (Tampa) will be the Master of Ceremonies. There will be patriotic music prior to and during the ceremony. Patriotic songs during the ceremony will be performed by Linda Burnette and The Villages High School Choir. lsaac Bobonis will play taps.  There will be a rifle salute and a presenting the nation's flag and flags from various military organizations. Ye Mystic Air Krewe will provide a flyover. Organizations with colors are invited to participate in the massing of colors at the beginning of the program and should plan to arrive by 9:30 am.  The Avenue of Flags consists of approximately 400 flags.  Persons attending need to arrive early and enjoy the patriotic and inspirational musical prelude which will begin shortly before the ceremony. Seating is limited, arrive early, wear comfortable clothing and bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit upon.  Info:  352-793-7740 or 1074.
(Please keep in mind that construction on interstate l-75 could cause delays in entering the cemetery  grounds.)    


Memorial Day Remembrance – 10am - at 550 North Nova Road, Ormond Beach, 32174.  Colonel Frank Farmer, USAF will be the guest speaker; Vietnam Veterans of America Daytona Beach Chapter 1048 along with the Volusia Memorial Funeral Home and Park, wreath laying ceremony, Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins, music, Taps, all veterans honored, complimentary hot dogs, and much more.  Open to the public - families invited. All Veteran Service Organizations are encouraged to attend and present a wreath.  Info:  Rod Phillips  cobra101st@ gmail .com , 386.690.9553 or  www. vva1048 .com    

Deltona Memorial Day service - 10am – Guest speaker USMC MSgt Paul Treusch (ret.) with a commemorative Air Force fly-over, memorial wreaths, presentation of colors by area veterans and affiliated community organizations.  Sponsored by Veterans Community Education Partnership and Deltona Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery.  Deltona Mem. Gardens, 1295 Saxon Blvd., Orange City.  Free.  Info:  386-775-4260.   

Port Orange Memorial Ceremony - 10am –– The City of Port Orange holds the ceremony at the City Center Veterans Park across the lake from Port Orange City Hall, 1000 City Center Circle.  VFW Post 3282 hosts with colors, speeches and the 21 gun salute.  Free.  Info:  386-506-5851.    

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED – There is a project to collect photographs of all the persons whose names are engraved on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC.  There are currently 24 heroes from Central Florida area who have no photographs.  Help us locate one/some so that picture can accompany a name in the future Wall of Faces in the Vietnam Wall museum.  They are:
  • Eugene Brown of Apopka; Gerald K. Brown of Maitland; Cary Craddock of Orlando; Joe A. Crutcher of Winter Park; William J. Deuerling of New Smyrna Beach; Michael G. Dinkins of Titusville; Randolph Eubanks of Cocoa; Tennis C. Ferrell of Orlando; Charlie Fields of Winter Garden; Robert L. Harter of Palm Bay; Sam Holmes Jr. of Sanford; Elijah Ingram of Cocoa; Eugene H. McKay III of Orlando; Charles Miller of Daytona; Daniel R. Partin of Christmas; Nathan E. Peacock Jr of Winter Garden; Paul M. Roberts of Melbourne Beach; Robert E. Thornton of Brevard; Malcolm R. True Jr of Cocoa; David Welch of Oakland; Maurice T. Williams of Ocala; Robert C. Williams of Orlando; Joseph Woodard of Winter Park; and Roger L. Young of Cocoa.

Help us locate their families and friends!

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Every effort has been made to include and provide correct information.  Sincere apologies for errors or omissions. There may be some events that I am not aware of. Please check your various resources. 
But most of all, attend and participate.  Include our next generation so that the understanding of the importance of the day is not forgotten. 

Freedom is not free.  

Compiled by Cathy Haynes – with a little help from my friends
chaynes11629@ yahoo .com
Member/supporter/volunteer of numerous veterans and military organizations in Central Florida

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