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Lest we forget

May 26, 2017
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

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.

In the last month, the Memorial Day roster grew by five:

- Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine. Navy SEAL. Husband. Father. Killed during an operation against al-Shabaab on May 5 in Somalia.

- 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Georgia. U.S Army paratrooper. Son. Brother. Died April 29, in Mosul, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during a patrol.

-Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois. U.S. Army Ranger. Son. Brother. Died April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations.

-Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio. U.S. Army Ranger. Son. Brother. Died April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations.

- Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, 37, of Edgewood, Maryland. U.S. Army Green Beret. Husband. Father. Died April 8 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations.

These servicemen join the long list of heroes who fought before them, choosing to serve as worldwide unrest continues to threaten our way of life, as those whose goal is terror kill and maim at concerts and clubs, subways and airports, sidewalks and roadways -anywhere crowds congregate.

For those who agree that such sacrifice deserves remembrance, there is ample opportunity to pay homage not only to these fallen but to their many, many comrades in arms 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 29, in the Veterans Honor Garden at the cemetery, 1630 S.W. Pine Island Road. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

Two other events will be held in the Cape a little later.

A remembrance will be held from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Iraq War Monument at Four Mile Cove Eco Park, Southeast 24th Terrace.

The Invest in America's Veterans Foundation will present a tribute to Hector A. Cafferata Jr., a USMC Korean War veteran and Medal of Honor winner, from noon to 4 p.m., at the Southwest Florida Military Museum at 4820 Leonard St.

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.

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 or on-line at cape-coral-daily-breeze.com under local news.

We thank those who serve. We thank the families of the fallen. Such sacrifices should not, will not, go unmarked.

- Breeze editorial

 
 
 

 

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