TAMPA, Fla. — It’s a solemn day for many families across the Tampa Bay Area as they remember their loved ones who gave their lives in service to our country. Gold Star families want people to take some time to remember and honor the fallen.
Before the ceremony even got started, Rosanna Powers did her best to make a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument shine.
“Every Memorial Day, I just want people to understand that there was a hero who went out and gave their life for them, that loved them and gave everything,” Powers said.
Powers is a Gold Star sister and fiancée.
“They were both killed one day apart in 2004,” Powers said.
This Memorial Day, dozens gathered in downtown Tampa at MacDill Park to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The CRISP organization hosted this Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning.
Gold Star families were joined by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Vice Admiral James Malloy from US Central Command.
“Once a year, we gather to remember what they live every single day,” Malloy said.
“He was killed in Afghanistan in 2009,” Dean Coleman said. “Because of him giving his life that day, none of his platoon was lost.”
Coleman is a proud Gold Star father of Spc. Justin Coleman. He shared his message to people on Memorial Day.
“People gave their lives to have this day,” Coleman said. “I think they’d want you to go out and have a good time because they would, but just say their names if you know them to remember their names, remember what they did for our freedom in this country.”
As you spend time with your family and friends this Memorial Day, these families hope you take the time to recognize the service and sacrifice, while remembering the true price of freedom.
“That’s what Memorial Day is all about is remembering that we have such a wonderful country that somebody died for us so that we could live freely,” Powers said.