Local military veterans and the memory of the country’s fallen soldiers were honored at a wreath-laying ceremony Monday morning in Miami Beach.
The event, held in South Beach outside Beach police headquarters, was hosted by the American Legion Miami Beach Post 85, Veterans of Foreign Wars Miami Beach Post 3559, and the city of Miami Beach. Veterans, city officials and residents attended.
David Patlak, district commander for the Miami Beach American Legion post, shared his family’s history of military service, including his grandfather’s time as a Navy chaplain and his father’s service as a surgical technician. He highlighted the pain of survivor’s guilt while recalling memories of fellow officers who died while in service.
“For my father and many others, Memorial Day is not only a day to remember the brave that died,” said Patlak, a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer. “It is a day of mixed emotions. Of honor, of memories, of grief, and of guilt.”
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Wreaths were placed beneath the War Memorial Cenotaph in front of the police station, and the Miami Beach Police Department Honor Guard Firing Team gave a 21-gun salute.