PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been a day of solemn remembrances across the Tampa Bay Area as we pause to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.
Hundreds gathered at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens in Palm Harbor Monday morning for its 33rd annual Memorial Day Services.
Ceremony officials said 1.3-Million American men and women died while serving our country.
Retired U.S. Air Force member Sonya Bryson-Kirksey sang the national anthem. Bryson-Kirksey is known for singing the national and them at Tampa Bay Lightning games.
Other musical guests included Gavin Rabbers, Gracie Campbell, Abby Littleton and students from Palm Harbor University High School.
The event featured guest speaker United States Army Veteran Peter Fraser.
“Major Peter C. Fraser enlisted in U.S. Army in 1965 and in 1967 he volunteered for deployment to Vietnam with The 101st Airborne Division. He was later deployed for service in Desert Storm. Major Fraser had a 30+ year career in the U.S. Army before retiring as a Major with over 30 awards and decorations including The Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and an Army Commendation Medal for valor. Major Fraser has published three books of poetry. The first book entitled “Vietnam and Other Heartaches” contains poems written while deployed in conflict and many of the poems salute his fellow soldiers who perished serving in Vietnam. Major Fraser and his wife have 3 children, two of whom are serving in the U.S. military.”Mary Devine, CMSA Advertising & Public Relations
With a career spanning more than three decades, United States Army Veteran Major Peter Fraser is remembering many friends taken too soon.
He read poems from one of his books, remembering loved ones lost. “Sitting in the jungle, holding you as you die, watching you die, letting you die. Legs gone, kidneys gone, all wanting to live gone. I could not have saved you, I would not have saved you, I did not save you,” said Major Fraser.
“There is not a day that goes by that for a second, or a few seconds, that I don’t sit and remember those who I served with who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Major Fraser.