People honored fallen soldiers at events around Central Florida on Memorial Day weekend taking time to thank them for their service and the ultimate sacrifice.
For the 67th year, Woodlawn Cemetery hosted the annual Memorial Day Service on Monday morning.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Lt. Col. Robert Carter, of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, were among the event's speakers.
“In the words of former president Barack Obama, ‘Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay. but we can honor their sacrifice,'"Demings said.
Demings added that the names of the fallen are not only etched into their tombstones, but their legacies will remain in people's hearts forever.
Carter took the time to acknowledge the sacrifices of moving from civilian life to becoming a member of the United States Armed Forces.
“I encourage each of you to spend some time today exploring these sacred grounds, and pause at each of these grave markers," Carter said. "While doing so, salute them, pray for them, or simply say ‘thank you for your service.'”
The memorial ceremony started at 10 a.m. at 200 Woodlawn Cemetery Road in Gotha.
At the Orange County Courthouse, Mayor Teresa Jacobs hosted another Memorial Day event in Orlando.
The mayor read scripture that was inscribed on dog tags of fallen Orlando soldier Michael E. McGahan, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2010.
“Each and every one of our fallen soldiers have answered that same call," Jacobs said. "And they have answered it. Not out of hatred, the hatred of those who would inflict horror and harm on innocent people, but they have answered it out of love. Love of country, love of freedom, love of democracy, and love of their American men and women.”
“Remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice is a sacred duty. We must never forget their service.”
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery
Several hundred attended a ceremony Saturday at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery for Memorial Day, reported News 6 partner Florida Today.
Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, was the event’s keynote speaker.
Most Americans cannot fathom the fact that roughly 1.2 million U.S. troops have been killed in combat throughout history, Monteith said.
"Regardless of why you are here, I think we can agree that we are all here to remember — and to memorialize — the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who fought to sustain and protect this free nation from all those who would seek its downfall," he said.
Greenwood Cemetery event
Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan (District-4) hosted a Memorial Ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery at 9 a.m. Monday to honor members of the armed forces who were killed while serving their country
U.S. Army Capt. Raymond Beard gave the keynote speech.
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