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Sarasota, FL: The City of Sarasota in conjunction with the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee will host the annual Memorial Day parade in downtown Sarasota on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2012 starting at 10 a.m. The annual event will begin at Main Street and Osprey Avenue and will continue Sarasota’s longstanding history of honoring military personnel. At the conclusion of the parade, a ceremony will be held at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue. The ceremony is expected to begin at approximately 11 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend.
Parade organizers would like to pay special tribute this year to the heroic men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. An invitation is being extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom to be the first civilian unit in the parade. It would be an honor to recognize those veterans for their service and the sacrifices they made for our nation. If you can help locate Iraq and Afghanistan veterans please contact Jerry Derrick with the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee and arrangements will be made: 941-861-2899. Other participants in the parade will include veterans’ service organizations, law enforcement agencies, marching bands, color guards, fire departments and more.
The theme for this year’s Memorial Day ceremony is “A Nation Forever Grateful”. The keynote speaker will be Scott Bill, a local builder, whose son Brian gave the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan last August. Brian Bill was among 22 Navy Seal Operators who died in the largest single day loss of life for the Navy Seals in its history. Brian was highly decorated with four Bronze Star Medals with Valor, a Purple Heart and two Combat Action Ribbons.
Schedule of events:
Parade – 10 a.m. – Main Street/Osprey Avenue
Ceremony – 11 a.m. – Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park (Main Street/Gulfstream)