Fort Walton Beach prepares for Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Beal Memorial Cemetery

In a tradition of remembrance and tribute, Fort Walton Beach is once again gearing up for its annual Memorial Day Ceremony, scheduled for Monday, May 29th, 2023. 

  • The Veterans Tribute Tower Committee is at the helm, hosting this cherished event at the Beal Memorial Cemetery, home to the Beal Memorial Veterans Tribute Tower.

This year’s gathering will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with a noteworthy guest speaker: Brig. Gen. Jeffrey T. Geraghty, Commander of the 96th Test Wing Air Force Materiel Command at Eglin Air Force Base. 

In a solemn testament to the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, the names of the recently fallen will be recited at the event. This gesture serves to remember and honor the over 1,800 veterans interred at the Beal Memorial Cemetery. The community is encouraged to bring small bouquets to place in the Community Wreath, a shared symbol of collective remembrance for military members who have passed away since the last Memorial Day.

Contributing to the reading of the names will be a cross-section of local leaders and community members. This includes Florida State Representative Patt Maney, Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson, Cinco Bayou Mayor Jean Hood, and Shalimar Town Mayor Mark Franks. Colonel Kevin Trujillo, the 7th Special Forces Group Florida Group Commander, will also join the ceremony, along with ceremony leaders and citizens from our community.

Adding a spiritual dimension to the ceremony will be Reverend Cecil Williams of the Gregg Chapel AME Church, and Chaplain (Captain) Brent Sadler of the 2nd Battalion, 7th SFC (Airborne). They will be accompanied by diverse contributors including Lt. Col. (Retired) Frank Roberts, students from Liza Jackson Preparatory School, cadets from the Fort Walton Beach High School Air Force Junior ROTC, and the esteemed Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.

  • Mr. Reid Soria from Autism Sings will also participate, bridging communities in a shared cause of remembrance.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be relocated to the American Legion Post 235, conveniently located at 105 Hollywood Boulevard NW.

To ensure that the names of recently passed veterans are included in the remembrance, or for any additional information, please contact Tom Rice, event chair and operator of the local Magnolia Grill, at 850-302-0266.

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