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Memorial Day 2021 Memories

Memorial Day

06 01 2021

Riddle Report: Yesterday, my wife Teresa and I attended the Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at the Military Heritage Museum (MHM). I must say as a veteran who has seen a few Memorial Day ceremonies and as a citizen of the United States, it was without doubt the best and most moving commemoration I have ever seen!

Located at 900 W. Marion Ave. in Punta Gorda, Florida, just east of Fisherman’s Village, the museum is an impressive building. With a ground floor garage and two floors of displays and exhibits plus a theater, it is an memorable experience that I would recommend to everyone.

Another thing I like is the cost which is $12 per person, $10 for veterans and military active duty, $9 for youth ages 9-13, $5 for annual members and no fee for children under 5, Charter and Sustaining Members. But yesterday, veterans got in free and adults for half-price ($6). And I promise you that what we got was worth far more than it cost!

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The Commemoration Ceremony started at 1 p.m. with the Young Marines (Imagine School, North Port, Florida) and the Historic Color Guard consisting of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Seeing these men and one woman dressed in the Period uniform they represented made it all the more entertaining, instructive, and interesting, not to mention enjoyable.

Then came the National Anthem sung by Marcella Brown who did a great job, the reading of the poem, “In Flanders Fields”, and followed by a video message from Representative Greg Stuebe, who is a U.S, Army veteran. He gave a short but strong message of support for our military and was followed by a President Ronald Reagan narrated video tribute.

But they still weren’t done.

Isaac James, a piano accompanist, led us by playing the piano in singing the Navy Hymn. This was followed by members of the Color Guard performing the Candle Lighting Memorial. This consisted of each representative of one of the wars (twelve in all) being called forward to light the candle for their war. The twelve wars and twelve candles represent the wars ranging from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The last candle represented all the other wars not mentioned. At the conclusion of the Candle Lighting Memorial, we all left the theater in a quiet salute to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The entire ceremony was colorful, impressive, and moving! We’ll be back not only for next year’s Memorial Day, but for other activities at the museum. But though the ceremony was over there was still much to see. So, we visited various rooms on the first floor and then went upstairs.

There we discovered their Flight Simulators. Teresa and I flew the simulators and we both proved that we are not pilots. We did get them landed and in my case the plane bounced. Probably a good thing I served on a ship in the Navy.

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