Tears welled, chins quivered and voices choked at the Veterans Memorial Ceremony that took place at the Traditions adult community clubhouse Saturday, Nov. 10. An overflow audience of almost 200, more than double anticipated by organizers, were present for the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to those who had served.
Conducted by Mike Arangio, a Vietnam veteran, and attended by public servants such as Winter Haven mayor J.P. Powell, Florida Representative John Wood, and Capt. William Mann (with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, representing Sheriff Grady Judd), the ceremony began with a presentation of the colors (U.S. Flag) by the Haines City Junior ROTC, led by Lt. Col. John Ingraham. Following the raising of the flag and the singing of the national anthem, Brigadier General David MacInnes (United States Marine Corp, retired) led the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterward, after a rendition of “God Bless America,” performed by the Rays of Hope, Arangio welcomed and thanked all who were present.
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