SANFORD, Fla. – The city of Sanford on Monday remembered the military personnel who died in service to the United States.
The city and the local American Legion held the annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. The service also honored Gold Star Families, family members of fallen military personnel.
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Lt. Col. Skip Barth, a Marine veteran who now serves as NJROTC instructor at Lake Mary High School, reminded everyone about the history of Memorial Day during the main address, saying the holiday started first as “Decoration Day” to honor the thousands who died in the American Civil War.
“This day is personal to all of us,” Barth said. “Personal because of their loss, which pains us, and the price they paid so we are free to enjoy time with our family and friends.”
After the ceremony, the city held a picnic.
Sanford has a long military history. Camp Monroe at Sanford was established by the U.S. Army in 1836 during the Second Seminole War. It later was strengthened and renamed Fort Mellon. The town that eventually became Sanford grew up around it.
During World War II, Naval Air Station Sanford was a training base for bombers and a master jet base for heavy attack and reconnaissance aircraft throughout the 50s and 60s. Today, it operates as Orlando-Sanford International Airport.