WJTV News Channel 12 - Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell honors veterans

Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell honors veterans

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A flag waves in the wind at a grave marker at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. A flag waves in the wind at a grave marker at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.
Hundreds arrived at the Florida National Cemetery for the Memorial Day Celebration in Bushnell. Hundreds arrived at the Florida National Cemetery for the Memorial Day Celebration in Bushnell.
Memorial Day at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL Memorial Day at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL
Joseph Harrin lead the Hernando High School Band as they play patriotic music prior to and during the ceremony. Joseph Harrin lead the Hernando High School Band as they play patriotic music prior to and during the ceremony.
SUMTER COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

It was a beautiful day at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell Monday where the Joint Veterans Committee (JVC) sponsored the annual Memorial Day Ceremony.  Perfect weather brought thousands to this annual Memorial Day celebration. Colonel Mike Prendergast, Executive Director, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs was the guest speaker for the event.

Storm Team 8 Chief meteorologist Steve Jerve acted as the Master of Ceremonies.  He read from a letter of an Army captain killed in World War Two about the sacrifice the soldier made.

Jerve read,  'If you get to read this, I will have died defending my country and all that it stands for.  The most honorable and distinguished death a man can die'."

Joseph Harrin lead the Hernando High School Band as they play patriotic music prior to and during the ceremony. Linda Burnett and Teresa Foss performed patriotic songs during the ceremony.  During the playing of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes by Naomi McClain, John Bushell and the Posse from the Pasco County Sheriff's Department performed the rider less horse routine. 

South Sumter High School NJROTC lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance and Isaac Bobonis a NJROTC cadet from South Sumter High School play the National Anthem on the bugle.  Gayle Williams, bugler played Taps

The people that attended the program were thanked by the director of the Florida National Cemetery, Kurt Rotar, for their recognition of this important holiday.

Rotar said, "As citizens begin their summer at pool side and backyard grills this Memorial Day, they need to follow your lead and put memorial back in Memorial Day by pausing to honor the sacrifices that made our freedom possible."

Michelle Lester brought her family here from Hillsborough county.  She said, "It's a very memorable experience for myself as well as my children. They have never been here before. I just though it would be a really good experience for them and it's been remarkable."

The Florida National Cemetery was established 25 years ago and since then more than one hundred and twenty-seven thousand veterans and their eligible family members have been buried there.

 

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