Coral Ridge holds 37th Memorial Day service
Despite the threat of thunderstorms from Suptropical Storm Alberto lingering, hundreds turned out Monday for the 37th Memorial Day service at Coral Ridge Funeral Home & Cemetery. All attended to pay tribute to those military personnel who had lost their lives defending the U.S., and those who had at one time served their country in the various branches of the armed forces.
Chuck Warren, a U.S. Air Force veteran and the program chairman for Coral Ridge, set the tone for the service when welcoming the crowd after the presentation of the colors by the Honor Guard and a fly-over by a Huey helicopter from Lee County Mosquito Control.
In noting the Cape funeral home’s 37th Memorial Day event, he said that the program was “… our way of saying thanks to those who have serve…” and “those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to our country,” calling them all “our heroes.”
While the service featured numerous poignant moments, two stood out.
The first was when Warren read the “Honor Roll” — a long list of all those veterans who had been interred at the cemetery in the past year, and then a list of those interred who had died while serving the country.
The second was when a quartet from the Gulf Coast Harmonizers sang the “Armed Forces Medley.” Before beginning the song, the quartet asked the veterans in attendance to stand when their “part” of the song, representing the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, began. When the appropriate lyrics started, the veterans stood and proudly saluted, with the crowd responding with loud applause.
Guest speakers included Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello, who read a Memorial Day proclamation from the Cape Coral City Council; Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, who presented Warren with a proclamation from the county; Amira Fox, the veterans advocate chief for the State Attorney; and Jon Marr, the featured speaker.
Marr, a U.S. Navy veteran, talked about his family’s involvement in the military dating all the way back to the Civil War, and about his father, his hero, stressing the efforts of all veterans defending our freedom and that “they will never be forgotten.”
Others featured included the Oasis JROTC Shark Squadron; Roy St. Onge, a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Vietnam war, who sang “God Bless the USA;” a gun salute by VFW Post 8463 in Cape Coral, plus the playing of Taps; the presentation of a memorial wreath by Gold Star Parents; and the opening invocation and closing benediction by 1st Sgt. Juan Cordero, U.S. Army retired.