The city's Memorial Day ceremony was held at 8 a.m. Monday, May 28.
During the city of Palm Coast's annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 28, locals gathered to remember and honor those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Mayor Milissa Holland served as the master of ceremonies to recognize speakers, including Chaplain Sandy Ausbrooks, American Legion Post 115; U.S. Representative for Florida's sixth congressional district Ron DeSantis; Edward Beier, American Legion Post 115; and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. David P. Lydon.
"There are empty chairs at our dinner tables, empty beds in our bedrooms and empty places in our hearts," Holland said. "This morning, we are gathered in Heroes Park to honor those who have died while serving the United States of America. These brave men and women gave their lives with honor and dignity. They died so you and I can celebrate our freedoms."
The Marine Corps League Detachment 876 performed a three volley salute, Joe Pepin of the American Legion Post 115 played taps and the Community Chorus of Palm Coast sang "Let Freedom Ring" and "God Bless America."
During Beier's speech, a 95-year-old World War II veteran briefly stood and disrupted the ceremony to express these statements:
"I’m ashamed of what I see here. This is a political gathering — nothing more," he said. "I’m 95 years old, and I am ashamed of what I see. It’s politics. Why are they here? For votes. Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves? ... God help you ... They don’t know what it is to see the crosses and the bodies … They’re sitting here for votes."
He asked to leave and was helped away from the ceremony space. While he left, the crowd clapped to honor him, as a veteran.
During Lt. Col. Lydon's speech later in the ceremony, he said that to truly honor the fallen soldiers, one must respect differences of opinion "like our World War II veteran here this morning."
To watch the city of Palm Coast's live video, visit: https://bit.ly/2sl37Yz