The community of Clermont came together to honor the nation’s heroes during a special Memorial Day observance, remembering and paying tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This heartfelt event was hosted by the South Lake Florida Base (Submarine Veterans), VFW Post 5277, the American Legion Post 55, and the City of Clermont. The 2024 Memorial Day Observance Ceremony took place on Monday, May 27, 2024, at the Highlander Building & Pavilion Complex.

A significant highlight of the weekend was the display of the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall, set up and presented by the Patriot Guard Riders Veterans organization. This poignant tribute, located at the Highlander Building & Pavilion Complex, provided guests with a meaningful opportunity for reflection and remembrance. The Wall was displayed throughout the Memorial Day weekend and disassembled on the afternoon of Monday, May 27. This powerful visual reminder of the sacrifices made by our veterans drew many visitors, fostering a deep sense of community and reverence.

Dr. Joe Ponds served as the guest speaker at the event. Dr. Ponds is a highly esteemed educator, facilitator, and trainer. He is also a Vietnam Black Hawk Pilot and the author of The 600 m.o.l. – Black Helicopter Pilots in Vietnam: Tuskegee Glory – Second Edition. Dr. Ponds brought a wealth of experience and insight to the ceremony, sharing his profound reflections on service, sacrifice, and the enduring legacy of our veterans.

Adding to the historical significance of the event, the Vietnam Black Hawk Pilot Association displayed a Black Hawk Helicopter, complete with its armament as used during the Vietnam War. This rare exhibit provided attendees with an up-close look at a key piece of military history, deepening their appreciation for the challenges and contributions of those who served in Vietnam.

The ceremony also featured a moving performance by the East Ridge High School “Rhythm of the Knights” under the direction of Robert D. Walker. Their rendition of patriotic songs added a touching and heartfelt dimension to the observance, highlighting the enduring spirit of patriotism within the community.

Clermont’s 2024 Memorial Day Observance was a poignant and powerful tribute to the brave men and women who have laid down their lives in service to our country. Through solemn ceremonies, historical displays, and heartfelt performances, the community came together to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.



About the Organizers:

South Lake Florida Base (Submarine Veterans): Dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of submarine service.

VFW Post 5277: Committed to supporting veterans and their families, advocating for veteran rights, and fostering camaraderie among veterans.

American Legion Post 55: Focused on mentoring youth, advocating patriotism and honor, and supporting veterans and active-duty military.

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