For generations of American families, Memorial Day is the most personal of holidays.
First called Decoration Day and marked by the “decoration” of military graves following the Civil War, the remembrance has evolved into a national holiday to remember those who have died in the line of service.
To those who loved them, they are more than names on casualty lists. They are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, family members who left for war and did not come home to those who waited, to those who hoped, to those who prayed.
For those who agree that such sacrifice deserves remembrance, there is ample opportunity to pay homage to those who have served, have suffered, and have died through the generations and the years.
In Cape Coral, the largest of the services will again be at Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery.
The annual Memorial Day Remembrance Service will be held Monday, May 31, in the Veterans Honor Garden at the cemetery at 950 Chiquita Blvd S. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and will include a live webcast at https://servicewebcast.com/service/coral-ridge-funeral-home-memorial-day-ceremony .
Two other events will be held in the Cape a little later.
A remembrance will begin 11:30 a.m. at the Iraq War Monument at Four Mile Cove Eco Park, Southeast 24th Terrace.
“We are honoring our fallen brothers and sisters; may they never be forgotten,” said U.S. Army PFC Michelle Rosenberger, who hosts the service annually.
The service will include the placement of dog tags of those who have died in service in Iraq.
The newly opened Brotherhood of Heroes Resource Center and Museum in Cape Coral will host two events over the holiday weekend to honor those who have lost their lives while serving.
On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Brotherhood of Heroes will host a 40th anniversary remembrance of the USS Nimitz incident flight deck fire that took the lives of 14 sailors and injured 45.
The open-to-the-public event will feature a color guard, food trucks, vendors, live entertainment and more.
On Memorial Day, Brotherhood of Heroes will then host a cookout from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The free event will feature the classic cookout staples: hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and soda.
Tours of the museum will be available at both events.
Across the river, Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home & Cemetery also will hold its Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday.
The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Field of Honor.
Interested community members may help honor fallen veterans by placing flags on each of their graves beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Those interested should arrive at the location’s Colonial Family Center at that time to await further instructions, organizers said.
The events all will feature various speakers and activities appropriate for the one day America remembers its war dead.
More details on these Memorial Day activities may be found in today’s Breeze and on-line at cape-coral-daily-breeze.com under Cape News.
We thank those who serve. We thank the families of the fallen. Such sacrifices should not, will not, go unmarked.
— Breeze editorial