‘It takes a piece of you’: Service at Jacksonville National Cemetery honors true meaning of Memorial Day

An emotional service Saturday featured music and 22,000 flags that had been placed at 22,000 gravesites to honor the 22,000 heroes who served the nation and are now buried at Jacksonville National Cemetery. The cemetery’s Memorial Day observance was a chance for some to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An emotional service Saturday featured music and 22,000 flags that had been placed at 22,000 gravesites to honor the 22,000 heroes who served the nation and are now buried at Jacksonville National Cemetery.

The cemetery’s Memorial Day observance was a chance for some to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Sometimes society forgets on Memorial Day that we’re here to serve and protect our country. I was in the army for 31 years --13 of the 31 years I was gone from my family,” said Col David Abramowitz, a senior mentor with Veterans Treatment Corp. “When you lose your soldiers and sailors and marines, when that happens, it takes a piece of you -- almost like losing part of your family.”

Melina Buncome was one of the Gold Star family members at the ceremony. Her daughter served eight years in the Marines before being diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in 2019.

“It means a lot to know that we set aside a time in our country to remember those who serve and died,” Buncome said. “It’s very emotional, just thinking about their service.”

As the music filled the cemetery and the flags swayed in the wind, those who served were remembered once again.

Jacksonville’s Memorial Day Observance will be at 8 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial Wall between TIAA Bank Field and the baseball grounds.

News4JAX has compiled a county-by-county list of events to honor Memorial Day around Northeast Florida.


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