Bay area Memorial Day events

Bay Pines, Florida - The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will commemorate Memorial Day with a ceremony on Monday, May 26 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bay Pines National Cemetery.

This is the only National Cemetery in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and the largest observance of Memorial Day with over 3,000 expected attendees. Veterans, their families and friends, and the general public are invited to attend.

To mark the occasion, the nearly 34,000 graves at the cemetery will be marked with U.S. flags to honor the men and women who served the nation.

Guest speakers for the event include U.S. Rep. David Jolly, 13th Congressional District of Florida; Bay Pines VAHCS Director Suzanne M. Klinker; Saint Petersburg VA Regional Office Director Kerrie L. Witty; and Florida National Cemetery Assistant Director Maurice Roan. Ms. Annette Kirk, American Gold Star Mothers, will provide the keynote speech. Ms. Kirk is the mother of Pfc. Paul O. Cuzzupe II who gave his life in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2010.

Lakewood Ranch, Florida - At 9 a.m. on Monday there's a Veterans Memorial Park Observance at Veterans Memorial Park on Bradenton riverfront, near Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Sarasota, Florida - Downtown Sarasota's annual Memorial Day parade starts at 10 a.m. on Monday. It will be held near Osprey Avenue and will proceed west on Main Street to J.D. Hamel Park. Parade participants will include veterans' groups, marching bands, color guards, civic groups and others. After the parade there will be a ceremony and music in the park.

Palm Harbor, Florida - Curlew Hills Memory Gardens of Palm Harbor is gearing up for its 29th annual Memorial Day Service. The event will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 at 9:30 a.m.

The moving program will take place at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, 1750 Curlew Road, and will be followed by refreshments. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Live music will be provided by Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir.

Clearwater, Florida - Six Vietnam combat veterans will be honored at AMVETS Post 67 at 512 South Lincoln in Clearwater on Monday at 2 p.m. 200 people are expected to attend this event to honor Vietnam Veterans for their service.

Post Commander Schumaker will present a Combat Infantry Badge plaque to 6 soldiers who served in Vietnam as combat soldiers. The soldier's jobs as combat infantrymen was to close in and destroy the enemy with direct fire. The soldiers that are being honored have a combined total of 12 years in Vietnam and each of them have been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for their brave service to our country.

The soldiers are Dan Davis, Don Pond, Jimmie Johnson, Jimmy Williams, John Helty and Joe Cousineau. The post will have a brief ceremony followed by refreshments. All veterans are invited and the event is open to the public.

Haines City, Florida - Monday, May 26th a Memorial Day Celebration will be held at Railroad Park, 620 East Main Street in downtown Haines City. Organizers say the event, which begins at 9:00 AM is Haines City's way of saying "Thank you" to all those who have fought for our freedom. This public service reminds us about the great men and woman who help protect this country.

Organizers also say they will honor and recognize all branches of military service at the Court of Honor.


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