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Memorial Day tribute

By Staff | May 15, 2019

With Memorial Day approaching, the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library is giving business owners a chance to show their appreciation to fallen members of the armed forces in the form of tribute banners.

Members of the community may purchase a banner honoring Roy Leo, a highly decorated World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran, with their business name and logo printed on the bottom.

The banners will line Cape Coral Parkway, where the inaugural Memorial Day Parade will be held, early next week until roughly 60-90 days following the event.

“Our city exemplifies what it means to support our veterans,” said Missi Lastra, director of operations at the museum. “We are the first Purple Heart City in Southwest Florida, and our businesses are always supportive of our veterans. This is a great way to show support.”

Banners are available to purchase at $150 for one, or $125 apiece if purchasing multiple. The deadline for banners is today, May 15.

The parade will be held May 27 beginning at noon on Cape Coral Parkway from Del Prado Boulevard to Leonard Street. Lunch will be served at the museum following the festivities.

Leo was a longtime resident of Cape Coral following his military service, and passed away in 2018 at the age of 98.

As a pilot in the Navy, Leo carried out 38 mission across three wars and amassed many medals — including the Naval Reserve Meritorious Medal — and recognitions during a 37-year military career.

He was involved in the Cape Coral Art League, VFW, Knights of Columbus and The Harry Chapin Food Bank after moving to Southwest Florida from Chicago.

The banners are being made by Intergraphic 2.0, a business in Cape Coral that has been around over 30 years, owned by Kris and John Jacobson.

Lastra said she is thankful to the city of Cape Coral, the Parks and Recreation Department, Cape Coral police and fire departments as well as City Council, who waved the coast to install these banners along the parkway.

She said she is proud of the all the work the city and museum does to keep veterans — those who are here and those who have passed — in the spotlight.

“When you come over the bridge, there’s a patriotic feel coming into Cape Coral,” Lastra said. “This is a way for businesses to tangibly support our veterans and have their businesses displayed along a high traffic area such as Cape Coral Parkway.”

To purchase a banner, call 239-541-8704.

For more information on the parade and museum, visit swflmm.org.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj