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Veterans and Their Families Honored at Plantation Memorial Day Service Event

The Planation Fire Department presents the colors at a Memorial Day service.
The Plantation Fire Department presents the colors at a Memorial Day service Monday.

Many people are excited this Memorial Day to finally visit friends and family after months of pandemic quarantine. However, a veteran’s memorial event in Plantation is a reminder of the solemnity of this holiday.

The ceremony began with bagpipes and a presentation of colors from the Plantation Fire Department. The South Florida Jubilee Chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner, and American Heritage High School student Sophia Nguyen played taps.

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The ceremony included speeches from elected officials, including State Sen. Lauren Book, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller, and county Commissioners Dale Holness and Nan Rich. Geller used his speech to urge people to get vaccinated.

“This is a very patriotic holiday. If you want to do the patriotic thing, if you want to protect yourself, your friends, your family, your community and your country, do the patriotic thing and get vaccinated," Geller said.

Jay Stahl is a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran who attended the event. He was frustrated with the way some people observe the holiday, and said people should remember the day's meaning and history.

“I really hate seeing somebody when they say “Happy Memorial Day” because it’s not a happy holiday. It’s a very, very sad holiday," Stahl said.

Theodore Veskosky served as a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. He was passing out plastic poppy flowers to attendees. He explained the meaning behind the poppy as a symbol.

“It grew up on the cemeteries of World War I, and when they mowed them down they grew again. So they became the symbol of our fallen comrades," Veskosky said.

The ceremony ended with a three-round volley salute from the Plantation Police Honor Guard and a moment of silence.

Kristin Moorehead is a 2021 WLRN summer intern and recent graduate of the University of Florida with a B.S. in Telecommunication.