Gov. DeSantis commemorates Memorial Day with hundreds of veterans

Governor Ron DeSantis commemorated Memorial Day with hundreds of veterans and military families.
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 7:36 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida State Capitol Bureau) - Governor Ron DeSantis commemorated Memorial Day with hundreds of veterans and military families.

More than 400 families from across Florida gathered outside the Governor’s Mansion for a Memorial Day Bar-B-Que Sunday.

While many people took pictures in front of the Governor’s Mansion, kids played games and many people enjoyed food and conversation, all to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

“It means everything,” said Al Cooksey.

Cooksey made the drive to the Governor’s Mansion from Monticello Sunday. He said he was invited to the governor’s cookout after going on last year’s Honor Flight. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

“If it weren’t for them, they brought me out of a little country town and I’ve been able to be a school superintendent and do a bunch of things I think because of my experience in the Army,” said Cooksey.

Generations of veterans and their families spent time with each other. Ashley Alexander’s father served three tours in the Middle East between Iraq and Afghanistan. She said that’s what she thinks about every Memorial Day.

“It just reminds me of my dad and what he’s done. I think of all the things he missed in my life, but I know it was the sacrifice he had to give,” said Alexander.

It’s a sacrifice Governor Ron DeSantis said needs to be made.

“Unless you have people throughout our history that are willing to put on a uniform, risk their lives, and in some cases, give the last full measure of devotion service to this country, then a lot of those principals aren’t going to amount to very much,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, (R) Florida.

Cooksey appreciated the governor’s effort to show that respect.

“I appreciate what they’re doing to try and make the military, put them out front and get everything working better,” said Cooksey.

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