The Marco Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veteran’s Park on May 30 at 11 a.m.

The approximately one-hour program will feature music by the Marco Strummers, Wes English, director. Also, Craig Gruesel, director of the Lutheran Church music department, will perform the Star Spangled Banner and TAPS.

There will be the usual salute to the armed services, with members of each service standing for recognition as their branch march is played. Many Marco Island organizations will be in attendance, as well as singers from the Marco Island Academy under the direction of Lianna Fried, performing appropriate songs.

Memorial Day is a special tribute to men and women in uniform who have lost their lives in combat, and a day to share the grief of families and friends for their sons and daughters who are no longer with us. It is also a day to dedicate ourselves to resolve through efforts of our government to keep us strong through leadership and military strength so as not to repeat those sacrifices.

Guest speaker

Guest speaker is Major General Geoff Lambert (Ret), a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran who, in the mid-70s was stationed overseas in Panama and Germany and participated in operations throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

He commanded a Special Forces operational detachment, and also was the Director of Operations, Strategy and Plans for the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Lambert planned and conducted numerous multi-national raids for NATO and executed several non-combatant evacuation operations in Africa. He was the 7th Special Forces Group operations officer for the invasion of Panama, and was instrumental in the crafting of the successful counter-insurgency plan for El Salvador along with the plan at the end of the war to bridge the transition to peace in 1992.

Late in his career, as the commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), he was honored to deploy the 5th Special Forces Group Task Force that, coupled with other government agencies, drove the Taliban from Afghanistan in less than 90 days, deployed three Task Forces to Iraq, supported Operation Enduring Freedom in The Philippines, and provided the forces for continued counter-insurgency operations in Colombia.

He is still active as a consultant.

The Marco Island Police Department will be present the colors. The Fire Department will erect shade tents on the circle for older veterans and visitors.

Attendees are advised to bring shade umbrellas, sunglasses and hats as well as chairs for their comfort. Water will be supplied by Marco’s IberiaBank. U. S. flags will be placed on Collier Boulevard by the Marco VFW Post members and friends to mark the holiday. As always, the Post has a good stock of U. S. made flags for this occasion. Please call Commander Dave Gardner for flags at 289-5862.

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