Memorial Day Service in Ocala
The heavy rain lent an appropriate atmosphere to Memorial Day observances around North Central Florida Monday--A day recognizing those who've served their country with valiant honor and a sense of duty.
"Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget," US Navy Chaplain, Elden Luffman recited during Ocala's Highland Memorial Park's Day of Remembrance Service. "So we can't forget. We have to remember and that's what Memorial Day is all about," Luffman told TV20.
Veterans from several different wars sat in the front rows.
Their eyes were directed towards the stage, but they served more as a window into their thoughts of what Memorial Day truly represents.
USMC Captain Lee Brown said his thoughts are with the young soldiers coming home and fighting a different type of battle including unemployment, mental and physical concerns.
"We got to get the country where we got jobs," he said amongst tears. "Because the people, they wanna get married and raise a family, and things like that."
Chaplain Fullman recalled his time in Vietnam, telling tale of an injured soldier reciting a psalm before dying.
"My thoughts keep going back to Vietnam where I just saw oh so many of those young men just slaughtered over there," he said.
Belleview High School Freshman, Javen Latson won Highland's Memorial Day essay competition.
"Memorial day means to me a time where I can sit back and commemorate on the lives of those who died trying to preserve the freedoms that I have now."
Meanwhile the rain tried to hamper the service Monday, but it was not successful. And the winds gusts just made the flags wave a little stronger.
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