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.  This year’s gathering will […]

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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Community Comments

“How do eagles get lead poisoning?”
“Dear commissioners, how about building another high school somewhere in south Crestview instead. Do something good for people for once.”
“Is there access to those Handycapped people who cant stand in long lines”
“That will be a blessing for some Okaloosa parents. Thanks Okaloosa Sheriff Offices.Wish you a blessed and safe holiday season ❤️”
“Phenomenal ideas! From a tourism perspective: musically and culturally, we are missing the boat (pun intended). Panama City and Pensacola are eating our lunch!”
“As a resident of the Mt Olive area, the neighborhood is EXTREMELY opposed to a jail in this location. How about going west on hwy90? There are many areas to...”
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“"Hello, I’m writing to follow up on my email. I didn’t hear back from anyone on the team I have a paid article proposal for your site/blog Our article...”
“It seems the Okaloosa Planning Commision, Okaloosa County Board are only looking at dollar signs and ignoring the local people here in the Ft. Walton/Mary Esther/Santa Rosa/Navarre area. You are...”
“What is going to happen to the Navarre McDonald's which I believe is owned by the family as well?”
“The Hughes family has some big shoes to fill! Keep the top notch tradition going! Congratulations to both!”