The Memorial Day “Massing of the Colors” produced by the Ancient City Chapter, Military Officers Association of America, will be held an hour earlier this year; on Monday, May 28, with color guard assembly beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ceremonies commencing at 9:00 a.m.
The St Augustine High School Chorus and Ancient City Pipes and Drums will perform during the observance held at the St Augustine National Cemetery, located at 140 Marine Street.
Lt. Col Richard Vargus of the Joint Security Forces, US Central Command (CENTCOM) MacDill Air Force Base, is the guest speaker. He is attending Monday’s services accompanied by his wife, Lt. Col. Norma Vargus; also assigned to Joint Security Command.
Members of the St Johns County Veterans Service Office in St Augustine will read a list of veterans who have passed since Veteran’s Day, 2011. A single peal of the ceremonial bell will follow each name.
In past years, there have been as many as 170 names read. Compilation of the names is an ongoing process up until the printing of the program. Any veteran passing after the cutoff receives recognition at the Veteran’s Day ceremony.
In cooperation with the Florida National Guard Bureau, the Chapter conducts two Veterans observances each year; the Memorial Day Massing of the Colors, assisted by National Guard Headquarters staff, and ceremonies each Veterans Day conducted at the City of St Augustine’s Special Events Field, west of the Castillo de San Marcos.