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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Historic Evergreen Cemetery hosts Memorial Day service

Mayor Harvey Ward recognizes the families of fallen veterans

American flags stick out on the sides of a tombstone at Evergreen Cemetery in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, May 27, 2024.
American flags stick out on the sides of a tombstone at Evergreen Cemetery in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, May 27, 2024.

In honor of fallen veterans, approximately 100 people gathered with handheld flags and paper fans at the Gainesville Historic Evergreen Cemetery for a Monday Memorial Day service.

The service included flag and bell ceremonies, the Navy hymn, gold star recognition, a rifle salute and taps. Over 1,000 flags were placed on the graves of veterans with the help of 170 volunteers prior to the gathering.

Charlie Jackson has attended Gainesville Memorial Day events for over 20 years.  

As a U.S. Army veteran, he served in the logistics executive office for 17 years and lost eight in his unit during the Gulf War.

“We pay recognition to those service members who paid the supreme sacrifice, but I also think it’s also incredibly important to recognize those families who saw their loved ones leave and they didn’t come back. Their families will never be the same again,” Jackson said. 

Mayor Harvey Ward spoke at the head of the crowd, honoring the families of fallen veterans. 

“To me, it’s a day of rededication and making sure that all of this honor, the sacrifices of all these women and men by leaning into good citizenship and learning what civics means to each of us and how we can do that right here at the local level,” Ward said.

Evergreen Cemetery Coordinator Karen Pruss has organized the annual memorial service for the past six years.

“Evergreen Cemetery is the municipal cemetery, we host an annual Memorial Day event to honor the men and women who have died in service to their country,” she said.

Dale Williams, Milam Funeral Home operations manager, catered the event.

“It gives us a chance to give back to all that have served our country,” Williams said.

Contact Lee Ann Anderson at Follow her on X @LeeAnnJOU.

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Lee Ann Anderson

Lee Ann Anderson is a sophomore journalism major and The Alligator’s Summer 2023 criminal justice reporter. In her free time you can catch her reading articles, talking to her cat or losing her mind.

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