The VFW conducted the Annual Memorial Day Service at the Marco Island Cemetery on Monday, May 30. Commander Lee Rubenstein greeted the gathering and following the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, Anna Schilling sang the Star-Spangled Banner.
Pastor Thomas McCulley recalled the words of Jesus who proclaimed “there is no greater love that a man lay down his life for another.” The Constitution and Bill of Rights gave us freedoms which have been defended by the fallen heroes of our armed forces throughout history.
A musical tribute was presented by the Marco Strummers recognizing all branches of the armed forces, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force. Veterans and active members of the branches of service were invited to stand as their theme was played.
Civil Air Patrol member, Mick Thorsenton, performed a flyover of a T28 Navy Trainer during the Salute to the Armed Forces. Herb Savage, genial gentleman and long time Marco resident proudly led the gathering in God Bless America, which is his patriotic signature on Marco Island.
Commander Rubenstein notedthat Americans across the country and elsewhere in the world were pausing today to remember our servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. He recalled the unprovoked attack on our country on September 11, 2001 and the shock which reverberated throughout the world as we watched in horror innocent victims falling to their deaths or perishing in civilian aircraft simply for going about their daily lives.
He described the recent capture and death of Osama Bin Laden as a fitting result of his intractable hatred of everything America represents.
Craig Greusel performed a musical version of Flanders Field followed by the playing of Taps by Jerry Stephenson. Commander Rubenstein recognized the Marco Island Police and Fire Departments for their cooperation with the day’s event and acknowledged the presence of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Marco Island Boy Scouts.
Ruth and Sal Sciarrino attended the Memorial and Sal commented, “I don’t like to hear people say Happy Memorial Day. It is a day of remembrance when we should think of our deceased servicemen and greet each other differently.” We will work on that, Sal.