The St. Cloud community came together on Monday to express their respect, remembrance, and gratitude for the brave American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The occasion was the St. Cloud Annual Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony held at Mt. Peace Cemetery, and it brought together community leaders, veterans, students, musicians, and individuals from all walks of life who simply wanted to extend their appreciation.

Leading the proceedings as the Master of Ceremony was John Lasky, Former VFW Commander, Vice Commander of the Osceola County Veterans Council in St. Cloud. He opened the event with the posting of the colors by St. Cloud High School’s Junior ROTC, followed by the Girl Scouts of Citrus – Mishawaka, who led the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

In what has become a tradition, local singer Brooke Envall delivered a powerful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, stirring emotions and setting a patriotic tone for the ceremony.

Memorial Day Service
Memorial Day
Memorial Day Ceremony
Ricky Booth Memorial Day
Memorial Day Service
Darren Soto

In attendance were many elected officials, including U. S. Congressman Darren Soto, Florida Representative Paula Stark, Osceola County Commissioner Ricky Booth, St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell, and City Council Member Ken Gilbert.

Representatives from various organizations within the community presented flags and laid wreaths near the podium, each wreath symbolizing the profound gratitude and respect for the fallen heroes. This act of reverence exemplified the unity and appreciation present within the St. Cloud community, and was followed by a moment of silence.

As a tradition, the ceremony concluded with the soul-stirring sound of Taps, played by members of the Osceola County Veterans Council. This somber and melodic tune served as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by the courageous servicemen and servicewomen [.

The guest speaker for the ceremony was Florida Representative David Smith. Smith delivered a poignant speech, emphasizing the significance of honoring those who have selflessly given their lives in service to the nation.

Following Representative Smith was guest speaker Michael Kepner, Director of the Office of Military and veteran Student Success at UCF.

Veteran Leo Murphy rendered a heartfelt performance of the Armed Force Medley, paying tribute to all branches of the military and their iconic themes.

The Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at Mt. Peace Cemetery was a truly remarkable event, with a significant turnout that likely surpassed any previous year. It provided a profound opportunity for the community to come together, reflect, and honor the memory of those who gave everything in defense of freedom and democracy. The event organizers, volunteers, and participants deserve commendation for their tireless efforts in making this solemn and meaningful ceremony a reality.

Positively Osceola extends heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in the planning and execution of the Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony. Through their dedication, they ensured that this commemorative event served its purpose of paying homage to the fallen heroes and fostering a sense of unity and gratitude in and around the St. Cloud community. Their commitment to honoring the sacrifices made by servicemen and servicewomen is truly commendable.