Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay area events to mark Memorial Day

Boy Scouts from four local troops place flags on graves Saturday at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg.


Boy Scouts from four local troops place flags on graves Saturday at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg.

Enjoy the barbecue, the beach and the end of your lazy three-day weekend, but don't forget what today is all about. Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday was established in 1868 to honor military personnel who died in the Civil War. In 1971, Memorial Day was made a federal holiday by an act of Congress. It's observed on the last Monday in May and honors all Americans who have died in wars and conflicts. Here's a sampling of area events scheduled for today:

Pinellas County

Bay Pines VA Medical Center's Memorial Day ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg. Guest speakers include Wallace Hopkins, director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System; U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young; and Sgt. Russell Pieper, U.S. Army wounded warrior, who served four tours of duty in Afghanistan. The event is open to the public. Clearwater High School Marine Corps JROTC Silent Drill Team will perform. Parking is available nearby and shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the cemetery. The venue is handicapped accessible. A sign language interpreter will be available for the hearing impaired. For more information, call (727) 398-9426.

Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, 1750 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor, will offer a Memorial Day program at 9:30 a.m. . The program will feature speakers, music and the placing of American flags at graves by local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. Call (727) 789-2000.

• The members of USS Cole Post 67, 512 S Lincoln Ave.,

Clearwater, its auxiliary and sons squadron, invite the public to attend Memorial Day ceremonies at 2:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the program. Call (727) 631-0067.

Indian Rocks VFW Post 10094 will hold a Memorial Day service with honor guards at 11 a.m. in Serenity Gardens at the Wilcox Road entrance. After the service, veterans will hold a ceremony, including a reciting of fallen soldiers in the past five years, at the post headquarters, 14268 Walsingham Road, Largo. For information, call (727) 596-8959.

• A Memorial Day sunset ceremony, sponsored by the city of Largo, will be celebrated at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. The program begins at 7 p.m. and will include bagpipers, a parade of colors and guest speaker Adm. Eric Olson. For information, call (727) 587-6740, ext. 5014.

Hernando County

Memorial Day Service, 11:30 a.m., Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9236, 3435 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Snacks will be served. Call (352) 596-9236.

Hillsborough County

•Friends of the Riverwalk will conclude its weekend-long FreedomFest celebration with a solemn celebration on the main stage at Cotanchobee Park in Tampa. Visit or call (813) 314-5422.


Florida National Cemetery Ceremony, 10 a.m., 6502 SW 102nd Ave., (exit 309 off Interstate 75), southwest of Bushnell. The speaker will be Thomas G. Bowman, senior adviser with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Sunshine Healthcare Network. Randy Price of WQYK-FM 99.5 will serve as master of ceremonies. The Hernando High School Band will perform patriotic music prior to the ceremony; band members will also play echo taps with Gayle Williams. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office will provide a riderless horse. The Florida National Guard will provide the gun salute and posting of the colors. There will also be a flyover by Ye Mystic Airkrewe and a wreath presentation. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Call (352) 793-7740 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Tampa Bay area events to mark Memorial Day 05/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 25, 2009 4:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day


    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more


    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott

  3. Forecast: Return of summertime pattern means afternoon storms on tap for Tampa Bay


    As if Memorial Day wasn't enough of a signal that summer truly is upon us, this week's forecast across the Tampa Bay area will be a stark reminder.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  5. Manuel Noriega, Panamanian strongman toppled in U.S. invasion, dies at 83


    Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and onetime American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.

    Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to newsmen after a state council meeting, at the presidential palace in Panama City, where they announced the new president of the republic in 1989. Panama's ex-dictator Noriega died Monday, May 29, 2017, in a hospital in Panama City. He was 83. [Associated Press]