By David Volz

The City of Coral Springs held a Memorial Day Commemoration at Veterans Park. Military personnel, military veterans and the families of military veterans came together to honor those who have served the nation in times of war and peace.

U.S. Representative Ted Deutch spoke on the importance of honoring U.S. military veterans who have served their nation. “We should always honor their service to the nation,” he said. “We should always support the men and women in uniform. Many have given their lives for the nation.”

Commissioner Lou Cimaglia led the Pledge of Allegiance and spoke on the importance of honoring the nation’s military veterans. “More than 1.3 million U.S. military members have given their lives for the nation. We should always remember them,” he said.

Lt. Colonel Retired Dave Harper of the United States Air Force was the featured speaker. He spoke on the importance of honoring those who serve in the U.S. military and those who fought and died for the nation. He also gave special credit to the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American fighter pilots who had to go far above and beyond to prove themselves during time of segregation in the U.S. “The German’s were really afraid of the Tuskegee Airmen. They were very good as fighter pilots and they shot down 261 German airplanes,” said Harper.

Special recognition as given to Dianne Gray, widow of Lt. Colonel Leo Roger Gray, a Tuskegee Airman.

The Coral Springs Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol place a wreath. The Coral Springs Honor Guard fired a salute volley. The Coral Springs Police Honor Guard played taps. Ron Stancavage, of the Veterans Coalition gave a speech. Rev. Sonja Williams of Vitas Innovative Hospice Care gave the invocation.

Veterans from all branches of the U.S. military were present. Some had served in World War II while others had participated in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Others had served in the military in more recent times.