BUSHNELL, FL – The Florida National Cemetery Joint Veterans Service Committee (JVSC) sponsored the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Florida National Cemetery on Monday, May 27, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. Lt Gen Mike Plehn, Military Deputy Commander, U.S. Southern Command, was the keynote speaker for the event. Guest speakers were Tony Thomas, Executive Director FNC and Timothy Ryan, US Air Force Veteran.
Steve Jerve of WFLA TV News Channel 8 (Tampa) acted as the Master of Ceremonies. Joseph Harrin lead the Hernando High School Band as they played patriotic music prior to and during the ceremony. Carolyn, Ruth, and Daniel McLain played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. Claudia Thompson lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance and Linda Burnette sang the National Anthem. Sierra Hotel Aeronautics provided a flyover. Cory Lowery, bugler, played Taps. The Arena Wranglers Color Guard presented the colors, and the North-South Skirmish Association Honor Team rendered a cannon salute. Guests arrived early and enjoyed the patriotic and inspirational musical prelude which began shortly before the ceremony.
The Joint Veterans Service Committee and the Florida National Cemetery extended an invitation to all veterans’ organizations and the general public to take this opportunity to remember and honor the men and women who served and gave so much to protect our great nation. Organizations with colors were invited to participate in the massing of colors at the beginning of the program.
The Avenue of Flags, consisting of approximately 400 flags, were on display along the roadways of the cemetery. These flags were donated to the cemetery by the next of kin of deceased veterans and were once draped over the caskets or cremation urns of veterans. A small American Flag was placed the day prior on every gravesite by the Flags for Fallen Vets organization at Florida National Cemetery, which entails over 100,000 sites.
DIRECTIONS TO THE CEMETERY: Take Interstate 75 to Exit 309 (Webster) turning right and heading west approximately ½ mile to the cemetery entrance, which will be on the left. The cemetery is open for visitation seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.