Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Memorial Service Honors the Fallen

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Memorial Service Honors the Fallen

Article excerpt

SARASOTA COUNTY

CEREMONY: Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan pay homage

They came by the hundreds to pay their respects, many of them arriving by the busload.

More than 500 people attended a Memorial Day ceremony at Sarasota National Cemetery on Sunday, including retired and active service members and their families and local and state government officials.

Before the ceremony began, the Sarasota Military Academy's band entertained the crowd with patriotic standards, and guests posed for pictures with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his wife, Ann.

As U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan approached the podium under the tent, he was greeted by the loud rumble of engines overhead. When four synchronized fighter planes became visible to the east, the crowd burst into applause.

Applause quickly turned to laughter as Buchanan joked, "I'd like to think I had something to do with that, but I think it was for the governor."

All jokes subsided as the memorial service got under way. Buchanan noted that 318 soldiers from Florida have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those, nine were from his district.

"I'm asked what's the hardest part of your job," to which Buchanan said his answer is always the same: "Losing a constituent who has served in our military."

"We're glad to have the governor here, not so much that he's the governor but because he's a veteran," said Dr. …

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