The City of Ocoee will hold its first in-person Memorial Day Ceremony since 2019. The ceremony will honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 25, at the Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 125 N. Lakeshore Drive. The public is invited to attend.
First Sgt. Daila Espeut-Jones, a retired combat veteran with 22 years of service in the U.S. Army, will be the keynote speaker. During her military tenure, she served in many positions around the world, which includes squad leader, platoon sergeant, training non-commissioned officer, customs supervisor, plans supervisor, area support team leader, Korean linguist, senior transportation supervisor, first sergeant and acting transportation division sergeant major.
Espeut-Jones has received more than 30 awards and honors, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Army Achievement Medal and Army Accommodation Medal.
She is the past president for the Association of the United States Army Sunshine Chapter in Orlando and chair emeritus of the Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council. She is an active member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club Orlando, National Defense Industrial Association, VFW Post 4287, Orange County Veterans Court Mentorship Program and 2022 Florida Governor’s Women Veterans Fact Finding Committee.
She also serves on the board of directors at Samaritan Resources Center. In 2015, Espeut-Jones was selected as one of Orlando Business Journal’s Veterans of Influence.
Ocoee resident Sherri Gladney will sing the national anthem. The Ocoee Police and Fire Department Honor Guards will present the colors and carry a wreath to be set in place at the city’s Memorial Wall. An Ocoee High School band member will play taps. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.
For information, call (407) 905-3100.