Memorial Day 2016 in Central Florida
Read a summary of events below.
FRIDAY MAY 27
Ocoee’s Memorial Day Ceremony –11am – Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 125 North Lakeshore Drive, Ocoee, 34761 (west Orange County.) The keynote speaker will be former Tuskegee Airman Daniel Keel, a 93-year-old aviator is one of the last surviving members of the famed group of African-American military pilots who fought in World War II. Mr. Keel served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a Billy Mitchell B-25 pilot. He left the military in 1946 and received a commercial pilot’s license, although at the time black pilots were not allowed to fly commercial airplanes. Mr. Keel continued his education, started a successful electrical contracting company in Massachusetts. A processional will be made to the Ocoee Memorial Wall for a wreath placement. The wall is inscribed with the names of Ocoee residents who gave their lives for freedom. Ocoee Police Officer Duane Hunt will sing the National Anthem and there will be ceremonial flag presentations by the Ocoee High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard and Ocoee Police Department Honor Guard. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony. Info: Joy Wright at joy.wright @ocoee .org 407-905-3100
Seminole County Hero's Memorial – 9am – A tribute to Seminole County's fallen military and public safety heroes at the Heroes Memorial (in front of the Criminal Justice Center, 101 Bush Blvd, Sanford, 32773.) The Ceremony will have music and keynote speaker Sgt. David Matthews, president and CEO of Never Forgotten Memorials. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office will have a helicopter flyover and a 21 Gun Salute, while the Fire Department will have a display of rescue vehicles and the ceremonial ringing of the last bell. The Seminole County Heroes Memorial consists of a fountain surrounded by separate memorials for firefighters, police officers and members of the military, A granite wall has 121 Seminole County military veterans' names who died during conflict, as well. Bronze statues of a firefighter and a police officer are inscribed with the names of deceased firefighters and law-enforcement officers. Info: Dave - 407-535-1728
SATURDAY MAY 28
Walk a Mile for Those Who Marched for Us – 9am to 4pm – Start at Seminole Harley-Davidson, 620 Hickman Cir, Sanford, 32771, just north of Orlando. Walk out under huge American Flag draped by High Reach2, past Comfort Inn, and enjoy some Ice Lemon Water at Outback Steakhouse porch before returning to Harley. Ceremony at 11:30 includes Vietnam War 50th Ceremony with 5 Branch POW/MIA Table Performance, Girl Scout Citrus Council singers, pinning of Vietnam Veterans 50th anniversary, a Wreaths Across America wreath for local fallen soldier, t- shirt giveaways, Silent Auction. Free Outback Steakhouse Appetizer for attending. Vietnam Veterans participating/registering have a chance to win a Free Night in a King Suite at Comfort Inn & Suites next door to Harley (2 winners; Remember: Hurricane season soon!) LIVE Music from 1 to 5pm with The Steven Green Band. Info: Dave - 407-535-1728 www. Neverforgottenmemorials .org
Cypress Grove Park Memorial Day Salute - 9:30am to 12noon – 290 Holden Ave., Orlando, 32839 in South Orlando. VFW Post 2093 Community Band will be performing, patriotic guest speaker, POW/MIA Remembrance and folding of the Flag; 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’ Group, 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.
Army Spc Brenden J. Salazar Memorial – 5pm to 7pm - Rock & Brews Oviedo, 7131 Red Bug Lake Rd, Oviedo, 32765. Seminole County resident Brenden Salazar was killed in July 22, 2012, in Logar Province of Afghanistan. (1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade) Friends, family and the community come together to remember this graduate of Hagerty High School. First Responders of Fire Station/ Tower 27 serving Winter Springs and Red Bug area will fly a massive flag at this memorial. Info: Dave at 407-535-1728 www. neverforgottenmemorials .org
SUNDAY, MAY 29
Taft Cemetery – 11am to 12:15 - American Legion Dorie Miller Memorial Post #331 will place flags on veteran’s graves beginning about 11am. 12 noon ceremony. 501 Landstreet Rd., Orlando, 32824 in south Orlando. Public invited. Post phone: 407-294-3548.
American Legion Post 112 Memorial Day Commemoration - 11am – The Post members along with Sea Cadets, Fleet Reserve, and Boy Scouts assist with ceremony. Guest speaker Congressman John Mica. Public invited. . 4490 N. Goldenrod Rd., Winter Park, 32792 (btwn Aloma Blvd and University Blvd.) Info: 407-671-6404
All-American BBQ – 12noon – American Legion Orlando Memorial Post 19, 5320 Alloway Street, Orlando, 32810 (just west of I-4 on Lee Rd.) Burgers, Dogs, Apple Pie and all that is American. Burger or dog/brat with two sides for $3 with advanced purchase of ticket otherwise will be $5 on the day. Public welcome! Info: Commander at 407-622-1807. Join the Post Memorial Day ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery on Monday.
City of Rockledge Memorial Day Ceremony – 2 to 3pm - This 2nd 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 Col. Rich Goodman from Patrick Air Force Base. Larry L. Schultz Park at 2560 Fiske Blvd, on the corner of Fiske Blvd and Levitt Parkway in Rockledge. Info: www. cityofrockledge .org or 321-305-4975
600 Miles of Remembrance in Coca-Cola 600 race, Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina - NASCAR drivers will again honor fallen service members with "600 Miles of Remembrance." The strip across the windshield of the 40 race cars will feature the name of a fallen United States Armed Forces member. This year there are three Florida fallen warriors whose names will be included:
• Army SPC Zachary Lee Shannon from Dunedin on Paul Menard’s car #27;
• Marine SSGT Jason C Ramseyer from West Palm Beach on Ryan Newman’s car #31;
• Air Force SSGT Forrest B. Sibley from Pensacola on Aric Almirola’s car #43.
(Last year there were two warriors from Central Florida who were remembered and honored: Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller from Oviedo, a Medal of Honor recipient, had his name on the windshield of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car; and Marine Gunnery Sgt. Floyd Earl Holley from Casselberry/Winter Park had his name on the windshield of Landon Cassill’s car.)
The race will start at 6pm, and will be carried on TV.
National Memorial Day Concert - 8pm 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. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, 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. 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 - MONDAY , MAY 30 – 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 Throughout History - 9am - 10:30am – Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island, 32952. Speakers include Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Parks and Rec Director Jack Masson and special guest speaker is USMC LtGen Robert Wineglass (ret.). Music by the Merritt Island High School band. 21 gun salute, JROTC, parade of flags and more.
Melbourne Memorial Day – 11am - Ceremony with the Massing of the Colors, guest speaker Army MG Charles F. Scanlon (ret.), music provided by the Melbourne Municipal Band and others. Liberty Bell Memorial Museum, 1601 Oak St., Melbourne. Presented by Honor America. Free. Info: 321-727-1776.
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery – 2:30pm – 3:30pm – The first annual Memorial Day Ceremony since this newest national cemetery opened in Florida. This site offers an alternative to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Introductions by Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. Guest Speakers are Brig. Gen. Wayne R. Monteith (Commander of the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base) and US Senator Bill Nelson. Music by Titusville High School band and a brass quintet. Groups participating include American Legion Post #1, scouts, and more. Limited seating, lawn chairs welcome. 5525 U.S. Highway 1, Scottsmoor, 32754. (From I-95 take Exit 231, at Highway 1 turn right (south); the cemetery is two miles on the left.) Info: Jim at 321.543.0646.
Memorial Day Tribute and Parade - 5:45 - 8:15 p.m - Parade through the streets of Cocoa Village at 5:45pm with a special Grand Marshall, Captain Ed Lanni, Ret. Captain of the Merchant Marines and long-time Cocoa resident. Ceremony on the main stage of Riverfront Park in Cocoa at 6:45pm with guest speakers USAF Col. Robert D. Harvey, (ret.) and USAF Chief Master Sergeant Boston A. Alexander. There will be various veterans’ organizations on site, presentations and patriotic music. Special flag-folding ceremony, period costumes, a moment of silence, entertainment, and more. Free! Info: NeoDasha Harris, Special Events Coordinator at (321) 635-7702 or nharris@ cocoafl .org
Lake County Memorial Day Observance – 11am - Waterfront Pavilion, 330 Third Street on Lake Minneola in Clermont. It is sponsored by the Tomoka Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; I.W. Hatcher, Jr. South Lake Marine Corps Detachment and VFW Post #5277. Also participating will be the Knights of Columbus Council #13240, South Lake High School NJROTC, Scout troops of South Lake County. Music will be provided by Jim Hanks. Collection container available for donating items to include in military care packages. Also collecting flags for proper retirement. Info: Susan DeHart at 352-242-2394, Kurt Schuh 352-552-6234 or Andy Smith 352-988-4599
Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando – 8–9am – Traditional ceremony by the American Legion Orlando Memorial Post 19, at the Veterans Section of the cemetery, 1603 Greenwood St., Orlando, 32801, downtown Orlando. Special guest speaker. Public is invited. Contact Information: Wade Foster 407-622-1807
Winter Garden Memorial Day Service - 8:30 am at Veterans Memorial Park, 420 S. Park Ave., Winter Garden, 34787. City of Winter Garden conducts a ceremony with guest speaker Capt. Frank Winget , a veteran of the Navy SEAL teams. A Roll Call of Veterans, placement of wreaths, patriotic songs performed that will invoke pride, honor and respect for our veterans. Info: Theo Graham at 407-656-2021.
Orange County Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony – 10am – 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 Army Lt.Gen. Jack Stultz (ret.); 143d ESC Color Guard, singers, high school brass quintet and JROTC, and more. On special display will be the Congressional Medal of Honor – the highest military award - received by Orlando resident Marine Cpl. Larry E. Smedley. He received it posthumously for his service in Vietnam, when he was killed in Dec. 1967 at age 18. 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 Former Sheriff Val Demings and Marine Sgt. Steven Tovet, a wounded veteran of Afghanistan. Refreshments will follow the ceremony. Info: 407-293-1361.
Zellwood ceremony at Conquest Cemetery - 10am – Located near the intersection of Yothers Road and U.S. Highway 441 near the entrance to Zellwood Station (west Orange County.) This ceremony has been coordinated for many years by Dwight Doggett. The MC this year is his daughter, Julie Werking, and the guest speaker is Dr. Sara Irrgang with the topic of “Life as a Female in the Military.” As is tradition, the grave of each veteran buried at Conquest Cemetery will receive a flag and flowers. Boy Scout Troop #639 and the Apopka High School JROTC, bagpipes, and others will be participating.
Glen Haven Memorial Park - 11am to 1pm - 2300 Temple Dr., Winter Park, 32789. Annual observance of those who fought and died for their country, honoring the memory of lives lost in service. Memorial service and commemoration to the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War is emceed by 540AM/102.5FM WFLA's Bud Hedinger. Guest speaker is Robert Apodaca honoring his father, Air Force Major Victor Apodaca. The Major was the first Spanish-American/Navajo Indian to attend the Air Force Academy. His fighter jet was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and his remains were missing/unidentified until 2001. The story of his remains returning home is a touching tribute by military service personnel. The ceremony includes the presentation of the colors, uniform presentation of all wars by the Winter Springs High School Army JROTC unit, and patriotic songs sung by Charles Haugabrooks, and the VFW 2093 Community Band. Info: 407-647-1100
American Legion Post 286 – 12noon - The American Legion Family invites the public to the Memorial Day Observance Ceremony and picnic to follow. Entertainment by Jodi from 2 to 6pm. The Post is also raffling a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with the ticket drawing at 6pm. 529 E. Fairlane Ave. Orlando, 32809. (Pine Castle in South Orlando; north of Sand Lake Rd on Orange Ave.) Info: Sandi at 407-859-1460.
Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park - 2pm –Memorial Day ceremony at the Central FL Veterans Memorial Wall located behind the Orlando VA Hospital Center at Lake Nona, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32827. Guest speaker is Army LTG Benjamin R. Mixon (ret.) The 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. This year, five additional names of the Fallen will be added to the granite walls: one from Osceola County, one from Orange County, and three from Brevard County. The Memorial Wall is located behind the hospital between the Domiciliary and the Community Living Center (CLC). A reception starts at 1:45pm. Arrive early, limited seating. Info: Jerry at 407-529-6925
Osceola Memory Gardens – 8:30am - Ceremony includes guest speaker Jon Yeitrakis, a Vietnam War veteran who served as a medic with the Marine Corps and in the process received 2 Purple Hearts. He was recently awarded Veteran of the Year by the Osceola County Veterans Council. This year, 4 veterans will also be honored. They died before they received their Congressional Medal of Honor that was issued to the US Army 65th Infantry “Borinqueneers” for their contributions to WWI, WW2 and the Korean War. Edwin Aviles, himself a Korean War “Borinqueneer, will be presenting the families with their Medals. Young cadets of the Civil Air Patrol 463 Cadet Squadron will present the Colors. St. Thomas Aquinas Choir, Osceola County Veterans Council and other groups will participate. 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, 755 E. 10th St., St. Cloud, 34769. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3227 is hosting St. Cloud's Memorial Day Service. Also participating is American Legion Post #80, AMVETs Post#33, first responders and scouts. Everyone is invited to stop by to remember and honor those who gave their all in the service of their country. 407-892-6761.
Bok Tower Gardens Memorial Day Carillon Concerts – 1 to 1:30pm and 3 to 3:30pm, 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, 33853. Half-hour carillon concerts as musical salute of gratitude to our nation’s military service – past and present. Free admission offered today to all military branches, active, retired, and disabled veterans with valid ID. Concerts included with general admission. 863-676-1408.
Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony - 9am - 12noon - For spectators and family, the fun starts at 9 AM with music, stilt walkers and lots of fun! The Parade 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 solute 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
Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell – 11am - 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell, 33513. Traditional and touching ceremony. Guest speaker is Marine MG James Hartsell, the mobilization assistant to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. There will be a rifle salute and a posting of the nation’s flag and flags from various military organizations, and Ye Mystic Air Krewe will provide a flyover. 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.
Ormond Beach Memorial Day Remembrance – 9am - Rockefeller Gardens, 25 Riverside Drive, Ormond Beach. (North of Daytona Beach) Music will be provided by Daytona Beach Concert Band. Speakers are Army Col. Victoria Leignadier (ret.), Ormond Beach Mayor Ed Kelley, and Navy Captain Mark Leary. Numerous military color guards, scouts and additional groups participate. Parking at the Casements, Fortunato Park and the Ormond Memorial Art Museum. Free. Info: 386-676-3241.
Deltona Memorial Day service - 10am – Commemorative Air Force fly-over, memorial wreaths, presentation of colors by area veterans and affiliated community organizations. Guest speaker Tom Burbank sponsored by Veterans Community Education Partnership and Deltona Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery. Deltona Mem. Funeral Home, 1295 Saxon Blvd., Orange City. Free. Info: 386-775-4260.
Port Orange Memorial Ceremony - 10am –– VFW Post 3282 hosts the ceremony at Veterans Park across the lake from Port Orange City Hall, 1000 City Center Circle. Knights of Columbus will perform the 21 gun salute. Free. Info: 386-506-5936.