Florida National Cemetery Honors

The Florida National Cemetery honored veterans on Memorial Day June 28, 2018 with a remembrance ceremony, twenty one gun salute, and an American Flag on every one of the thousands of graves, placed there by volunteers.

Florida National Cemetery Honors the Fallen on Memorial Day 2018

The dark clouds set a somber mood appropriate for celebrating the lives of the men and women who have served our country and died doing so. I don't think you can get an appreciation of the number of lives that have been lost in the defense of our country until you see the enormity of the cemetery and the row upon row of grave markers. It was as awe inspiring as it was somber. It was a day of remembrance. No one was there to debate the righteousness of war or the opinions of a president. They were all there to honor and celebrate those who have served. Hundreds of people attended, from motorcycle clubs to leatherneck veterans and their families.  It was a good reminder of the sacrifice families make when they send a member in to service

 A man wearing an Amvet uniform holds two American flags during the ceremony.

A man wearing an Amvet uniform holds two American flags during the ceremony.

 Countless lives have been sacrificed for our nation. The day before the Memorial Day event volunteers made sure every grave was adorned by an American flag to honor their service., and each name read aloud

Countless lives have been sacrificed for our nation. The day before the Memorial Day event volunteers made sure every grave was adorned by an American flag to honor their service., and each name read aloud


The day before the event volunteers placed thousands of flags on each grave , reading the name of each veteran.
 

 A riderless horse symbolizing fallen soldiers is presented by the Pasco Mounted Posse

A riderless horse symbolizing fallen soldiers is presented by the Pasco Mounted Posse

 Many families spend time on Memorial Day dressing the grave of their fallen member like Cody Clark Grater who died in Iraq in 1987. His family tells the story of how he died taking shrapnel for his fellow soldier knowing his comrade was expecting a baby when he got home. Every grave has a similar story and an impacted family.

Many families spend time on Memorial Day dressing the grave of their fallen member like Cody Clark Grater who died in Iraq in 1987. His family tells the story of how he died taking shrapnel for his fellow soldier knowing his comrade was expecting a baby when he got home. Every grave has a similar story and an impacted family.

 Stars and stripes decorate this soldiers grave

Stars and stripes decorate this soldiers grave

 The Pasco County Sheriff Rifle Team stands at attention before firing a twenty one gun salute

The Pasco County Sheriff Rifle Team stands at attention before firing a twenty one gun salute

 WFLA Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve serves as MC for the memorial

WFLA Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve serves as MC for the memorial

 Putting a face with a fallen soldier helps to know who he was.

Putting a face with a fallen soldier helps to know who he was.

 A proud mom holds up painting of her son while The Hernando High School Royale Regiment plays the Army march

A proud mom holds up painting of her son while The Hernando High School Royale Regiment plays the Army march

 Hundreds of people attended including motorcycle clubs, veteran organizations, and families of fallen soldiers

Hundreds of people attended including motorcycle clubs, veteran organizations, and families of fallen soldiers

The day made me appreciate the service of our military even more than I already do. It's so easy to forget the millions of soldiers who have died fighting for what they believe around the world. Do yourself and your kids a favor. Next Memorial Day or Veterans Day, take them to visit the Florida National Cemetery and show them what sacrifice looks like. Or, don't wait until then. It's open all the time. Maybe it could help us all stop bellyaching about cell phones, or Facebook, or politics... by just remembering what it takes to keep that freedom. Call a veteran today and thank them!