By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In observance of Memorial Day, a number of cities across South Florida will host ceremonies to honor those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Monday morning, Plantation city officials and local dignitaries hosted an event at Plantation Veterans Park, Coral Springs held a Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Park and the City of Pembroke Pines held a Memorial Day Virtual Observance Ceremony.

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In Davie, town officials and the Boy Scouts of America held their annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

For people like Joe Dykes, who served in Vietnam, the parade was a chance to reconnect with those who made it back and remember friends who didn’t.

“It’s really tough, like our commander told us don’t make friends, don’t get close to people because you don’t know if today they’ll be here tomorrow. And it happened, some people came into country and said where is so and so, he didn’t make it,” he said.

“We love America, we are lucky to be born here, and we need to advertise that and so it brings love for your country, that’s the number one thing,” said Dyke’s wife Mary.

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Marie Fernandez brought her 15-month-old daughter Amelia. She said after a year of lockdown, she was ready to mark the holiday.

“They fought for our freedom and they fought so hard and the people in this country need to know,” said one woman lining the parade route.

In Coral Gables, firefighters were joined by the American Legion, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Jr. ROTC, USCG Auxiliary to place eight thousand flags on veteran gravesites.

In Miami, ceremonies will be held at Miami Memorial Park, Flagler Memorial Park, and the American Legion Hall on Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables.

Monday afternoon, Miami Beach, in partnership with the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 3559 Miami Beach posts, will pay tribute to the memory of the men and women who died for freedom with a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial Cenotaph in front of Miami Beach Police Headquarters.

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Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was officially declared a National holiday on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The day is now honored every year on the last Monday of May. Team