City holds Memorial Day drive-by ceremony at Florida cemetery where hundreds of veterans are laid to rest

In an effort to preserve an annual tradition, despite public health concerns due to COVID-19, the City of St. Cloud organized a drive-by tour of the Mount Peace Cemetery as a way to honor fallen soldiers.

On Memorial Day, we remember the brave heroes who served our nation. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, honoring their memory continues.

“It’s certainly not the same as it normally is,” St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell said. “Normally we have several thousand people here that gather on Memorial Day, but we certainly did not want to pass this opportunity of remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

So, from a social distance and sheltered from the rain, people drove through the cemetery listening to a program on the radio.

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“This is our past,” Tracy Stubbs said. “This is our heritage. And we need to respect that and respect what the people did – that’s why we celebrate Memorial Day.”

Hundreds of American flags marked the graves of brave men and women who served. At the Mount Peace Cemetery in St. Cloud, hundreds of veterans were laid to rest here, dating back to the Civil War.

St. Cloud is known as 'Soldier City' because the town was founded on being a retirement home for Union soldiers after the Civil War.

“It’s a real fitting place to remember those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom,” Congressman Darren Soto said.

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While much has changed throughout our history and in recent months, our freedoms are something that should never be taken for granted.

“We should never take people’s service for granted because our freedom is something we should never take for granted,” Blackwell said.

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