Florida Soldiers Honored at Lake Ella

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

The ceremony was organized by a local anti-war group, but it attracted people with all sorts of views. The common idea among all of them seemed to be--we support our troops.

The bell echoed across Lake Ella as each name was read for all the Floridians lost in the war overseas. One of the hardest to read for the McMackin-Woodall family was the name of their own son--Julian Woodall. "It just brings up the emotion. It's frustrating that it's been five years." said Meredith McMackin, mother of Julian McMackin.

Dan Crowley, a local soldier about to return to Iraq, came to remember the two friends he lost. He said, "I've known Julian's family for, going on seven years now. He was a really good friend of mine in high school. I went to elementary school with Daniel Chaires."

Another soldier returning to Iraq came to grieve as well. Private First Class Amanda Randall with the Army said, "It breaks your heart to have to remember, that people fought for you and for the country and now their not here."

Besides the grieving, there was also frustration as some people spoke out against the war. One man commented saying, "What right did we have to turn Iraq into a battlefield against terrorism." When night time came, the candles were lit once more for another year gone by.
As the ceremony came to a close, many people brought silk flowers to the to be sewn on a mat, which will be delivered to a group of Iraqis overseas.

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