ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Hundreds gathered in Ormond Beach early Monday as city officials held an in-person Memorial Day service for the first time since 2019.
The remembrance was held at Rockefeller Gardens and included several tributes to honor veterans who lost their lives during active duty.
Retired Colonel Bancroft McKittrick delivered the address at Monday’s service.
“We’ve earned a lot of those freedoms through those folks that have sacrificed for us,” McKittrick said. “They possess courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity.”
Messages of valor were delivered from several people who spoke, including Vicki Leignadier, who is also a veteran.
“Being able to be out and together with people and honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice is just so rewarding,” she said.
As the country is emerging from the pandemic, some cities have decided to hold in-person ceremonies after opting for a virtual service in 2020.
“Having people here and connecting again, haven’t seen each other in a long time, I think that means a lot,” McKittrick said. “It kind of means, hopefully, COVID is in the rearview mirror. We don’t know about that yet. We’re hoping it is, but I think we’re trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy.”
Those who attended the remembrance said it’s important to honor the lives of America’s fallen heroes to ensure their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“For those people who sacrificed, I remember them every day and I’m sure most of the people here do as well,” Gary Breeden, an Ormond Beach resident said.