Local color guard, Edgewater

Published on May 29th, 2013 | by Donna Martin


Memorial Day, a Salute to Veterans – Where were you?

By the looks of traffic backed up to I95, most of us were at the beach. Many residents were entertaining relatives and guests at home, obvious as I drove down the street watching people unloading their luggage from the overflow of cars in the driveways.

The rest of this community, and probably around the whole nation, were lying around in our underwear with the TV remote in our hands, planning on staying that way for the duration.

I’m a sucker for patriotic fanfare, so I went to the ceremony at the Edgewater –New Smyrna Cemetery.  The crowd, mostly over 50 years of age, and an ever dwindling group of World War II veterans, turned out in an array of red, white and blue attire of some kind.

All military participants were in their finery – dress blues and whites. The flags were furled while the gusty winds did their part. Patriotic songs were sung, colors were presented by the boy scouts.

miss man formation, memorial day, planes, edgewater, new smyrna beach

During the placing of the wreaths, a bag piper played his mournful songs. There were two flyovers, one with the Missing Man Formation (pictured above). And finally, a booming canon salute. Is there anyone who doesn’t get misty eyed at this display?

ww2 veteran, edgewaterPonder the statistics of our major wars – American Revolutionary War, 25,000; Mexican-American War, 13,283; Civil War, 625,000;  World War I, 116,516; World War II, 405,399; Korean War, 36,516; Vietnam War, 58,209.

My only connection to one of the wars, was losing my strong and handsome Canadian cousin, Leland Fairless, in Canada. His plane went down returning from a mission in World War II.

I was able to capture the demeanor of a single World War II veteran in the front row (pictured left). While the rest of us were thinking of a BBQ this day, I believe his thoughts were elsewhere.

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* Statistics referral:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

All photos were provided by: Donna Martin


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About the Author

Stained Glass Artist, Owner of Alchemy Stained Glass Studio, Oil painter and journalist. I love the laid back attitude of Edgewater. Oak Hill is one of my favorite towns because of the simple life, with the old Florida atmosphere and the abundant wildlife. But initially, it was New Smyrna Beach that attracted me. I was on my way to Ponce Lighthouse and took a wrong turn into New Smyrna Beach. I picked up a newspaper (The Observer, in fact). On the front page was an article about the Atlantic Center for the Arts. I folded up my paper, went back to St. Cloud where I was working for Chrysler in Orlando and put my house up for sale. I’ve never looked back.

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