The commander of the West Orange VFW Post 4305 will be the guest speaker at the city of Ocoee’s Memorial Day program at 11 a.m. Friday, May 26. The event will take place at the Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 125 N. Lakeshore Drive. The public is invited to attend.
The ceremony will include a processional to the Ocoee Memorial Wall, where a wreath will be set in place. The wall is inscribed with the names of Ocoee residents who gave their lives for freedom.
Allyson Bellochi, a senior at Ocoee High School, will sing the national anthem, and Charisma Tran, Miss Young Preteen Earth United States, will sing patriotic songs. Ely Martinez, a junior at Ocoee High School, will play taps to honor fallen soldiers.
In addition, there will be ceremonial flag presentations by the Ocoee Police and Fire Department honor guards.
Retired Army 1st Sgt. Daniel Kalagian, an Ocoee resident, will give the keynote address.
Kalagian was born and raised in Bridgeport, Conn., and dreamed of being a soldier and police officer. He was able to do both.
He was on active duty in the 1980s and later started his 23-year career with the Bridgeport Police Department as an officer and detective. After Sept. 11, 2001, he served in Iraq and in Guantanamo Bay.
He was named VFW commander last December.
He also leads a service platoon with The Mission Continues, a veteran-led nonprofit that helps veterans transform their drive to serve from the military to the civic community.
After Ocoee’s ceremony, refreshments will be served. For information, call (407) 905-3100 or visit ocoee.org.
Contact Amy Quesinberry at [email protected].