VENICE, Fla. -- One of the largest gatherings on the Suncoast on Memorial Day each year is in Venice at Patriots Park.
"These types of things are important to all of us." 93-year-old World War II and Korean Veteran Gilbert Liebig says he's come to appreciate Memorial Day more and more every year. "It gives us a chance to be together and let each other know we are thinking about all the wars."
Remembering friends, family, and all the nameless too.
“I have family on the wall, friends on the wall. It's a very reverent and meaningful day for me," said Vietnam Veteran ‘Spags’.
Monday’s service included the laying of wreaths, proclamations by local leaders. A volley to salute those lost. Stories about sacrifice and the fight for freedom.
World War II veteran Walter Hake says we pay tribute simply because it's the right thing to do. "We are the lucky group, the ones who are here. There are not a lot of us around anymore."
Betsi Hallman was remembering her late husband Earl, also a World War II veteran. "It makes me feel good as an individual to express my thanks for all those people and to also acknowledge those who passed that gave so much for all of our freedoms."
It’s more than a day away from work, says Vietnam veteran Lance Rose. "It tends to be forgotten in a lot of areas. Today is more looked at as a three day weekend and a day off and big sales everywhere. It is much more than that. It has to be much more than that."
Not forgotten in this park this day. Hundreds of all ages were thankful for those no longer here and the legacy they've left behind. "You see what we have here. People should really appreciate it," said Hake.
A community service to remember the fallen also took place in North Port Monday.