Armistice Day (Veterans Day) is commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany on 11/11/1918.

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This Sunday marked the 100 anniversary of the WWI cease-fire, and hosting the memorial event at Clermont Waterfront Park was Sgt. I.W. Hatcher, Jr. South Lake Marine Corp Detachment; Tomoka Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; VFW Post #5277 and Korean War Veterans. The South Lake High School ROTC and South Lake Scouts also participated in the ceremony.  Jim Hanks and his daughter Nancy Hanks Dittrick concluded the ceremony by performing patriotic songs, giving the audience an extra jolt of U.S. patriotism.

Clermont Scout Master Jason Wade, Scout Leaders, and Pac 268 participated in the event.

The South Lake High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. presented colors and Brynna Hower sang the National Anthem.

Mayor Gail Ash looks on as The South Lake High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. presented colors and Brynna Hower sang the National Anthem

Local WWII vets were honored during the ceremony.


Of those attending, local resident Jackie Ulch was surrounded by her family (3 generations of military): USCG RESERVES Joshua Folckemer, Chief Boatswains Mate. Jonah Folckemer, Jayden Folckemer, Cheryl Folckemer, (Josh’s Mom), Dean Folckemer, Josh’s Dad, who served in Korean war/1951-53, Corporal US Army.

Jackie Ulch sits with granddaughter Stephanie Folckemer, Maritime Enforcement Specialist 3rd class, and great-granddaughter Sadie Folckemer.
Jackie’s deceased husband Jack Ulch was a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy and received commendations for his work with severely burned patients on his ward at Corpus Christi, Texas.  Jackie beamed and said proudly, “I am so proud of all of them”.

The Tomoka Chapter of D.A.R. started Veterans Day and Memorial Day programs down at Center Lake over 15 years ago. Susan DeHart was one of the first to work on the programs. Carolyn Darling started assisting with the program about 12 years ago and Andy Smith has been helping about 10 years.
Gail Ash, Clermont Mayor; Andy Smith, I.W.Hatcher, Jr. Marine Corp League; Carolyn Darling and Susan DeHart, Tomoka Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Do you remember?  Forty+ years ago: In the early hours of the morning, then resident and veteran Charlie Haines would line East Avenue from Hwy 50 to “Jaycee Beach” with American flags.

The community organized a beautiful ceremony to honor and recognize local veterans, proving year after year, they will never forget.


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