There were more than 135 people in the audience for the Bird Key Yacht Club’s annual Memorial Day Remembrance Monday night at the Bird Key Yacht Club. Among them were 40 club members who are veterans.
Bird Key Yacht Club Vice Commodore Steve Horton, in his address, reminded those in attendance that it’s the obligation of every American to ensure that the sacrifice of the country’s fallen warriors is not in vain, to see that the freedoms we enjoy are preserved.
Horton, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, described an October trip to Normandy, France, and the magnitude of the sacrifice that is memorialized there. He also recalled how during the Vietnam War he and his fellow midshipmen at the Naval Academy were instructed not to wear their uniforms while on leave.
“The legacy of Vietnam remains complicated,” said Horton.
Horton concluded by contrasting the lack of freedom in Russia and Ukraine currently with those enjoyed in the U.S.
It was not “a political statement,” he explained, but an “observation.”
The Young Marines of the Imagine School at North Port posted and retired the colors. Michael Kutner, club member and a former opera singer, sang the national anthem without accompaniment. Gemma Briggs, on bagpipes, played “Danny Boy,” before the “Tribute to the Fallen,” during which Horton paid tribute to the more than 600,000 military members who have died in service to the country since 1775.
Briggs concluded the ceremony with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”