Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving with the U.S. military. It is observed on the last Monday in May.

With approximately 700 attendees, the Sarasota National Cemetery held a ceremony on Saturday that included a musical tribute, bagpipes, and the presentation of colors, a reminder of the respect due to the American flag and the sacrifices made by those who gave their life for our freedoms.

As part of this tribute a memorial wreath was presented to Gold Star families, immediate spouses, children and others of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict. Accepting on behalf of the Gold Star families were family members of Army Master Sgt. Charles J. Brown, a U.S. Army infantryman missing in action from the Korean War. His remains were identified after 66 years, were returned stateside and are interred at Sarasota National Cemetery.

Eligibility for burial at Sarasota National Cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces meeting a minimum active duty service requirement and discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Others eligible include a veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, and minor dependent children.

Saturday’s attendees were reminded to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance by pausing for one minute at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to honor those who died in service to this country, as an act of national unity.

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