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By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Coral Springs presented their Memorial Day service on Monday morning at Veterans Park with special guest speaker and resident Major General (Ret) W.S. Read.
Dedicated to all those who fought or died in service for their country, the service was led by Ron Stancavage of the Veterans Coalition. The Invocation was given by Chaplain Paul Veliyathil of Vitas Innovative Hospice Care and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vice Mayor Larry Vignola. The Presentation of Colors were given by the Coral Springs Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol and the Salute Volley and Echo Taps were presented by the Coral Springs Honor Guard.
Featured speaker this year was Major General George (Steve) Read. Read was commissioned on June 3, 1970, through the ROTC Program. He is a graduate of the Field Artillery School, and has completed many courses including Infantry Advanced, Department of Defense Emergency Planning, Senior Transportation, United States Army of Command. He Also attended General Staff College and the United States Army War College. He retired as Commanding General of the USAR Readiness command, Fort Jackson, South Carolina in 2007.
“I was a soldier, I am a soldier and I will always be a soldier,” he told the audience.
He said that his hope is they never forget the price beyond imagination that was paid by our soldiers – our warriors, and the price that’s still being paid by their families day in and day out.
Read said we know what we have, but sometimes we forget what they really gave us and loosely quoted Charles Province’s It is the Soldier:
“It is the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to actually burn the flag.”
Also speaking at the ceremony were Mayor Skip Campbell, Vice Mayor Larry Vignola, and Commissioners Lou Cimaglia and Joy Carter.