Cedar Key FFA students gather donations for veteran support at Memorial Day ceremony

Cedar Key FFA students gather donations for veteran support at Memorial Day ceremony
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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CEDAR KEY, Fla. (WCJB) -Around 150 residents and veterans learned about those who paid the price while fighting for our country.

“He’s left a void in my heart,” said one Cedar Key veteran.

Although, they won’t be forgotten. Along with the dozens of service members who are buried at Cedar Key Cemetery; each name read aloud for the town’s Memorial Day ceremony.

“Frank Jenkins, Navy. George Robinson Junior, Army,” said Veteran Jennifer Alfonso.

Veterans were able to share their experiences about lost service members. Each person in the crowd went home with an American flag star that’s meant to remind soldiers that they are loved. They’re cut out from tattered retired American flags.

RELATED STORY: Veterans remembrance ceremony held for the first time at Cedar Key Cemetery on Memorial Day

“I accept this for my brother and it will go in his man cave at our home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” said the veteran.

While a number of veterans stood at the podium to share their stories about those they lost, a pair of Cedar Key students gave out these poppies with a goal to give back.

“We are trying to prevent soldier suicide,” said Cedar Key student, Morgan Winfield

Every dollar donated to Winfield and her friend, Claire Ryan of Cedar Key FFA was matched for the organization, “Stop Soldiers Suicide.” Donation or not, a handmade poppy was given out as well to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“The number is like 22 a day right now,” said Winfield. “And one lady said from every time that she gets a poppy she collects it and now she has like a whole collection of them.”

So as hundreds left Cedar Key cemetery, they left with a star, a poppy and a lesson learned about those who served.

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