Milton honors fallen heroes with annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Published: May. 29, 2023 at 2:59 PM CDT
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MILTON, Fla. (WALA) -For over 20 years, residents in Milton have gathered at the Santa Rosa County Veteran’s Memorial Plaza to honor the lives of those who died while serving our country.

“A lot of our guys didn’t make it back home who started their careers here. We want to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Director of events, Daniel Powers.

Organizers say it was one of their biggest Memorial Day crowds in quite some time. People took some time to look at some of the monuments and the names of fallen heroes while reflecting on the true meaning of this day.

“As we so often hear freedom has a price and each generation pays its dues, said Captain Paul Flores. Commanding Officer at NAS Whiting Field. “Today is our day to say thank you to those who foot the bill.”

It’s also a somber day for people like Robert Castor who honored his dad navy lieutenant Robert Castor who died in 2011 of complications from cancer after serving in the Vietnam War. And his son Nathan Castor who died in a motorcycle accident while serving as a missile technician on the USS Alabama.

“It’s a hard day. Every day is a hard day especially when you lose your child, our only child,” said Robert Castor. “Without it him it’s kind of sombering.”

Castor was on hand as the Milton Garden Club dedicated a new gold star monument which will serve as a tribute to all gold star families who lost a loved one in the military.

“I’m glad to see it and the banners around the park,” added Castor. “Just people remembering those who didn’t make it. The said over one million people have died since the birth of this country and these are just two people. They’re my heroes.”

The Santa Rosa County Veteran’s Memorial Plaza honors fallen heroes by placing their names on bricks at the plaza. If you have a loved one whose name you want to honor you can contact them at 850-626-7292 for more information.