Brevard County will host various Memorial Day ceremonies


Gold star parent Donn Weaver would love it if more people for at least part of the day observed the original intent of Memorial Day, created after the Civil War to honor the men and women who died while serving in the military.

“There are plenty of observances around Memorial Day that still leave plenty of time to enjoy a picnic or the beach, said the retired Army captain, who along with his wife, Jeanne, will be featured speakers at the Memorial Day Commemorative Observation at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor. The Weavers’ son, First Lt. Todd Weaver, died in combat in Afghanistan.

Retired Navy Capt. Robert Watts will emcee the National Cemetery event themed “America Responds,” which will begin at 11:30 a.m. May 27 and includes a vocalist, special readings and music by a combined band of Titusville and Astronaut High School orchestras, among other features.

Weaver will be among the more than 1,000 guests that are expected to attend the ceremony at the cemetery, the final resting place of some 5,800 veterans.

Weaver also will be in the crowd earlier that day on Merritt Island at the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Museum, the site of an “Honor the Fallen” observance from 9 to 10 a.m. on the holiday. Guest speakers are 2016 Medal of Honor recipient Army Sgt. First Class Melvin Morris, a Vietnam veteran from Cocoa, and Air Force Col. Kurt Matthews, commander of the renowned 920th. Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base. The ceremony will honor three paratroopers from the 920th. killed on duty March 15, 2018 in Iraq. The Museum and its grounds at 400 Sykes Creek Parkway will be open for the day.

Weaver invites the community to join him from 1 to 2 p.m. at the historic J.N. Tucker Memorial Shady Oaks Cemetery at 2701 Harbor City Blvd. in Melbourne. More than 30 veterans rest in unmarked graves at this predominantly African-American cemetery.

Beyond these three major events, Brevard will host other observances at different municipalities and VFW and American Legions.