What's up for Memorial Day

Gainesville High Jr. ROTC members Jacob McKinney and Devin White place flags next to head stones at Evergreen Cemetery on Saturday, May 24, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla. The group placed hundreds of flags at the gravesides at multiple cemeteries around Gainesville for Memorial Day.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 5:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 5:12 p.m.

Communities around the region will celebrate Memorial Day with events ranging from graveside services to a crab festival. Here are some highlights.

EVERGREEN: The city will host a Memorial Day ceremony paying tribute to the late U.S. Marine Cpl. Milton Lewis, the first person from Gainesville killed in action during World War II, at 2 p.m. Monday at the historic Evergreen Cemetery, 401 SE 21st Ave. The annual event is sponsored by the Milton Lewis Young Marines, who will dedicate a new bench at the gravesite of Cpl. Lewis.

FOREST MEADOWS: The annual Memorial Day Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Monday at the Forest Meadows Cemetery, 3700 SE Hawthorne Road. There is often a large crowd and county officials advise visitors to come early and bring seating. The event will include free barbecue and will feature presentations from various veteran and military organizations. Guest speakers include: the Jon C. Thomas family, director of the North Florida South Georgia Veterans Health System Tom Wisnieski, the Marine Corps League Gator Detachment, Iwo Jima veteran Bob Gasche, Wings of Dreams executive director Capt. Bob Oehl and U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho.

VETERANS FOR PEACE: The group’s annual tombstone display comes to a close Monday, with 6,782 tombstones placed along Northwest Eighth Avenue just east of 34th Street.

FLORIDA NATIONAL CEMETERY: The annual Memorial Day ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Monday at 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell. Organizations with colors are invited to participate in the massing of colors at the beginning of the program. Veterans’ organizations should plan to arrive by 9:30 a.m.

CAMP BLANDING: The Camp Blanding Museum will host its annual Memorial Day Ceremony honoring those who died while serving. Guest speaker for the event is (Ret.) Col. James Lamar Crawford, a native of Lake Butler. The event begins at 10 a.m. Monday at Camp Blanding Museum & Memorial Gardens, 5629 State Road 16 W, Starke.

GILCHRIST AND LEVY COUNTIES: American Legion Post 236, 9550 U.S. Alt. 27, Bronson, will celebrate Memorial Day with dinner sales starting at 2 p.m. today.

AmVets Suwannee River Post 422, 17313 U.S. 19, in Fanning Springs, will host a Memorial Day celebration at 3 p.m. today, with a special salute to AmVets Post 422 WWII veterans. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

Putnam County: The annual Blue Crab Festival continues through Memorial Day in Palatka. The festival features carnival rides, live music, arts and crafts, commercial display vendors and more along the riverfront. Arts and crafts booths will stand along St. Johns Avenue, and food booths will be on either side of the entertainment tent. A Memorial Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. today along St. Johns Avenue.

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