Flags flew and a bright sun shone on Rockefeller Gardens on May 30 but it was a solemn occasion as a large crowd gathered for a Memorial Day service to honor those in the military who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Daytona Beach Concert Band provided a musical backdrop to the event and four flyovers offered stirring salutes. Wreath-laying ceremonies, a playing of “Taps” and a procession of the audience, laying flowers in remembrance of those fallen, underscored the day with emotion.
Some died in peacetime, and too many died in conflict, said retired Col. Victoria Leignadier, U.S. Army, moderator of the event.
“He has drunk deep from the challis of courage.”
RETIRED LT. COL. GARRET MESSNER, U.S. Army
“These men and women served their country and defended those who could not defend themselves,” she said.
Retired Lt. Col. Garret Messner, U.S. Army, gave the Memorial Remembrance speech. He began by quoting Gen. Douglas McArthur, saying we should not mourn the men who died, but rather thank God that such brave men lived.
He said he was filled with admiration for the heroes they were honoring. .
“He belongs to posterity. He belongs to history. He has drunk deep from the challis of courage,” Messner said.
Messner retired from the Army in 2016 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as professor and commander of the ROTC program. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he served throughout the world, including Afghanistan, and now lives in Ormond Beach.
Also taking part in the ceremony was American Legion Post 267; Spruce Creek Gaggle Flight; Gary Flanagan of Daytona Pipes and Drums; Gwen Redmond, veteran, U.S. Navy; Civil Air Patrol Ormond Beach Senior Squadron; Susan Darden, regent, Captain James Ormond Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution; Ormond Strong and Boy Scout Troops 65 and 407.