TAMPA, FL -- While many people will use Memorial Day to get together with friends, maybe attend the Tampa Bay Rays game, military members urge everyone to take time to recognize the true meaning of the holiday.
A number of events are planned around the Tampa Bay area Monday morning and evening.
The American Legion Post #5 in Tampa even got a jump on the ceremonies Sunday night.
Candles were lit in recognition of military members who have lost their lives fighting for our country.
At 8 a.m. a traditional Memorial Day ceremony was held at MacDill Air Force Base.
It included a 21 gun salute and playing of the taps.
"Just amazing what they go through. Just thank God my son came back safe," said Joanne Orlosky, who has a son that served 23 years in the U.S. Army.
One of the messages at the ceremony was to rededicate to remembering the meaning of Memorial Day.
"Even if they just take a few seconds out of the day, maybe 30 second to a minute," said Lance Corporal Andrew Holdridge.
Monday morning Sarasota held its annual parade downtown.
This year a special recognition for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is planned.
At 7 p.m. a ceremony will get underway at Largo Central Park's Military Court of Honor.
Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) is expected to attend.