NEW PORT RICHEY — Gone, but not forgotten, 346 soldiers from Florida who died in Iraq and Afghanistan received a memorial during a luminary ceremonyat American Legion Paradise Post 79.
Members of American Legion Auxiliary Paradise Unit 79 and the post’s junior auxiliary lit the candles inside luminaries outside the post last weekend. Bearing a name and message, each luminary represented the memory of a fallen soldier.
This is the seventh year the post has presented the Luminary Honor Field. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7987 participated with its honor guard and rifle team, along with other area veteran groups. Members from St. Pete Beach Auxiliary Unit 305 and Auxiliary Unit 173 also took part in the ceremony.
Pasco County veterans representative Brian Anderson delivered the keynote speech.
VFW Post 7987 member Rick Kitchen was among those saluting fallen comrades amidst the backdrop of the glowing luminaries.
Gerald Clark from American Legion Post 73 in Holiday was among those reflecting on the sacrifice of the soldiers.