By Matt Rothman
The City of Coral Springs hosted a Memorial Day ceremony to honor those who served, and those who lost their lives in service for our country.
In attendance, was guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel David Harper, Ret. “All these people are here today because other people were willing to make a sacrifice. Otherwise, we would be speaking Japanese or German,” said Harper.
A 1968 graduate of Florida State University, Harper was assigned to the 19th Casualty Staging Flight at Clark Air Forces Base for a year before being reassigned to Williams Air Force base in Phoenix, Arizona. He was later reassigned to the Air force Reserve in 1972 and served a variety of different roles including Commander of the 35th Aeromedical Evacuation Flight out of Maxwell Air force Base in Alabama.
He spoke about his experiences in the military and what his family meant to him.
“My mother felt like my military service was very beneficial to me; taught me some personal discipline and so forth. I recommend the military to everyone,” he said.
To kick off the ceremony, Natalie and Gianna Conte sang the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ along with ‘I’m Proud to be an American’.
Ron Stancavage, board member of the Veterans Coalition, welcomed the guests, as well as offered the opportunity to purchase a brick to be placed at Veterans Park for a $50 donation to honor a veteran.
Reverend Sonja Williams of Vitas Innovative Hospital Care led the invocation, and Coral Springs City Commissioner Lou Cimaglia thanked everyone for coming, as well as those who served.
Veterans had the opportunity to stand and be recognized for their service at the ceremony. After the Coral Springs Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol placed the wreath, all current and former veterans were asked to come forward.
After the Placing of the Wreath, the Salute Volley and Echo Taps was performed by the Coral Springs Honor Guard.
As the ceremony came to an end, the audience had a chance to interact with the panel and Harper who was more than welcome to speak to anyone who stayed.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student. Matt also covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writer, the New York Mets for Last Word on Baseball and Florida Gators Athletics for ESPN Gainesville.
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