Ceremony at Kent-Forest Lawn Cemetery honors fallen service members

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - While Memorial Day does mean a three-day weekend for most, others want you to remember the real reason we honor this holiday. Monday morning, dozens of people gathered at Kent-Forest Lawn Cemetery in Panama City to do just that, remember the fallen.

“It will wake you up when you got rockets coming in and occasionally an unfortunate causality on base. So it’s, you never forget that,” Kevin Kellett, Quartermaster of Veterans of Foreign Wars POST 8205, said.

Veterans like Kevin Kellett and community members filled the cemetery to honor the fallen and the flag they stood for.

“You know when we first enlist in the military, we sign up. Well, it’s not on the contract but we sign up for what’s called the unlimited liability clause, knowing that we might go into combat somewhere and may not come back,” Jamie Warrick, Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars POST 2185, said.

It’s the ultimate sacrifice that gives us Americans the freedoms we enjoy today.

“I think it’s that peace that if we were to pay the ultimate sacrifice, that’s the silver lining in it,” Erich Frandrup, Commanding Officer of The Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, said.

The Bay County Commission worked together with The Bay County Veterans Council to put on this year’s memorial day observance. It’s a ceremony Kellett said he’s been attending for years.

“We come here every year,” Kellett said. “We have been for probably well ever since this began.”

Kellett was one of the many young men drafted to defend our country. While he hopes everyone takes a moment to remember those brave troops who never returned, he said he also wants to honor the men and women who continue to volunteer today.

“It’s unbelievable to me. I was back in the draft, and now it’s all volunteers and I am so proud of those young people who volunteer and they know going in, what can happen,” Kellett said. “So, I want the public to remember that.”

We continue to reflect and remember why we proudly wear red white and blue.

“We remember the story of America and how we became who we are today,” Frandrup said.

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