Ceremony at Kent-Forest Lawn Cemetery honors fallen service members


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) — While Memorial Day means a three-day weekend for most, others want you to remember the real reason we honor this holiday. On Monday morning, dozens of people gathered at Kent-Forest Lawn Cemetery in Panama City to do just that, remember the dead.

“It will wake you up when you have rockets and sometimes unfortunate causation on base. It’s so, you never forget that,” said POST 8205 Veterans of Foreign Wars Quartermaster Kevin Kellett.

Veterans like Kevin Kellett and members of the community filled the cemetery to honor the dead and the flag they represented.

“You know, when we first enlist in the military, we agree. Well, it’s not on the contract, but we agree to what’s called the unlimited liability clause, knowing that we could go to battle somewhere and not come back,” said POST 2185 Veterans of Foreign Wars member Jamie Warrick.

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

“I think it’s that peace that if we had to make the ultimate sacrifice, it’s the silver lining,” said Erich Frandrup, commanding officer of the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center.

The Bay County Commission worked with the Bay County Veterans Council to organize this year’s Memorial Day. It’s a ceremony Kellett said he’s been attending for years.

“We come here every year,” Kellett said. “We’ve probably been fine since this started.”

Kellett was one of many young men enlisted to defend our country. While he hopes everyone will take a moment to remember those brave soldiers who never returned, he said he also wanted to honor the men and women who continue to volunteer today.

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

We keep thinking and reminding ourselves why we proudly wear red, white and blue.

“We remember America’s history and how we came to be who we are today,” Frandrup said.

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