Palm Coast Memorial Day Ceremony Draws Crowd to Remember the Fallen

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Today, May 29th, 2023, for Memorial Day, the City of Palm Coast hosted a Memorial Ceremony to honor the fallen soldiers, firefighters, and law enforcement.  The ceremony was attended by Sheriff Staly, the Palm Coast Fire Chief, Leann Pennington, Ed Danko, Gold Star Families, and many more.  The community came out to honor the memory of the fallen. The Ceremony was intended to remind the community that today is a day of remembrance, to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

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The colors were presented by the Matanzas ROTC Color Guard, and both Mayor Alfin and Councilwoman and Gold Star Mother Cathy Heighter spoke to those in attendance.

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Mayor Alfin opened his speech with one of history’s most famous war time poems, In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae. Mayor Alfin talked about remembering those who have fallen in service to our Country and Community. Mayor Alfin took a moment to remember the finest of Palm Coast residents, those who have given their lives in the line of duty. It was at this moment that Mayor Alfin read the names inscribed on the monument that stands at the center of Heroes Memorial Park. The families of the fallen were asked to stand if they were in attendance. “May the rest in peace and may they feel in their souls that Palm Coast will never forget them,” said Mayor Alfin after he finished reading the list of fallen military officers.

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Cathy Heighter then approached the podium to address the crowd gathered to honor the fallen heros of our community and country. She talked about honoring those whose paid the ultimate price to protect the freedoms of our nation. She talked about how Memorial day is a day to remember those who have laid down their lives in service to our country and community. “We remember that their sacrifice is noble, their heroism is unparalleled and most assuredly that their dedication to God and Country can never be forgotten, and by no means ever go unnoticed.” Councilwoman Heighter then talked about how this July will mark the 20 year anniversary of her son’s death overseas in Iraq. She talked about the memory of his funeral, service and even the day she was notified that he had died in the line of duty. Many attendees were moved to tears listening to her story, and the pain and grief she has felt and still feels over the loss of her son. She hopes that the community will never forget the high price of freedom, and the debt that we can never repay to those who have paid the ultimate price.

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Following Cathy Heighter’s speech was the placement of the wreaths in front of the three Monuments, one for law enforcement, which Mayor Alfin and Sheriff Staly placed together, one for fallen firefighters which Palm Coast Fire Chief placed, and one for military personnel, which the two gold star families placed together.

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The event was closed by a rifle salute and the playing of taps. This event is hosted yearly in honor of those who paid the ultimate price for our American freedoms, and to remind the community that today is a day of remembrance to honor that sacrifice.

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By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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