By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The wail of a fire truck siren pierced the air Monday afternoon as Laguna Vista residents proceeded solemnly down F.M. 510 for the “Always Honor, Never Forget” Memorial Day Parade.
About a dozen golf carts and a couple of vehicles decorated with American flags were led by the Marine Corps Reserve Unit color guard from Harlingen as the procession traveled from the Laguna Vista Public Library to Veterans Park.
Once there, former and current members of the armed forces were invited to sit beneath a canopy as Mayor Susie Houston began the ceremony with a note of thanks for their service. Residents joined together for an invocation and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the latter of which was led by area children.
Afterwards, each of the five branches of the military were recognized individually, with current and former members asked to stand in front of the town’s monument, along with family members of those who died during their service. One by one, the hymns of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard were played.
With no family or members of the Coast Guard present, Houston invited all those who stood for the previous branches to stand in honor in their stead. At one point, several hawks could be seen coasting along the thermals in the warm air above the ceremony.
Houston then introduced the keynote speaker, Laguna Vista resident Chris de Gobeo, who served in the 3rd Armored Division and the 1st Brigade at the Ayers Kaserne in Kirch-Gons, Germany. De Gobeo first addressed the crowd by sharing the history of how Memorial Day came to be, describing its origins during the Civil War when a group of Mississippi women visiting a cemetery to lay flowers on Confederate graves noticed that Union gravesites were left untended and unadorned.
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