By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Tamarac along with the Veterans Affairs Committee held its Memorial Day Service on Monday at Veterans Park.
Honoring all Americans who made the supreme sacrifice with their unselfish devotion to defending our heritage of liberty and justice for all, the ceremony was standing room only with residents of all ages attending the event.
Thankfully, another year went by with no rain. The Taravella High School Concert Band, led by Director Cheldon Williams provided the music, and the National Anthem was performed by Miss Broward County 2013, Katherine Pena.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Shane Olshansky, Veterans Affairs Committee Vice Chair, and the Invocation was given by Dr. Benjamin Stephenson, Veterans Affairs Committee Member.
The Keynote speaker was Major General Joseph P. DiSalvo, U.S. Army, Chief of Staff, U.S. Southern Command in Miami. SOUTHCOM is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Major General DiSalvo graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree and is an airborne ranger Armored Cavalry Officer. He also holds a Master of Science in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
He has deployed to Bosnia as a Deputy Division G3 and aide to the Stabilization Forces Commander, and deployed to Iraq as a Brigade Combat Team Commander in Fallujah and later Sadr City and as the United States Forces-Iraq Deputy Chief of Staff focusing on the transition of security responsibility to the Iraqi security forces. His wife and son also attended the ceremony.
This year, the Parks and Recreation Department, on behalf of the City of Tamarac, had essay contests at three of Tamarac’s Elementary schools. The winning selections were read by the students where they spoke about what Memorial Day meant to them. From Renaissance Charter School; Pamela Delgado. Challenger Elementary School; Dahlia Dawson and from Tamarac Elementary School; Sheri-Ann Keen.
Roger Loth played “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes and Norman Blau, Veterans Affairs Committee Chair gave the Benediction.