A city in Southwest Florida will honor those who died while serving our country during the long weekend ahead.
Southwest Florida Military Museum will host Cape Coral’s inaugural Memorial Day parade in downtown Cape Monday.
The museum said it has been planning this for months. A parade to honor the fallen and the brave.
“And I was surprised I was asked to be grand marshal,” Poncho R. Mauricio said.
Mauricio, a 101-year-old World War II veteran, will help lead the route for Cape Coral’s inaugural Memorial Day parade.
“It’s important that we honor and remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedoms that we get to enjoy here, today,” said Missi Lastra with the museum.
The inaugural parade will honor veteran Roy Leo, who died last year. His achievements are now on display at the military museum.
“We have a picture of Roy in the middle,” said Jim Zbick with the museum. “All of his campaign ribbons underneath and his medals on each side of that. So that’s a 37-year career in the Navy as a Naval aviator.”
Members of Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Cape Coral Police Department will also be in the parade. There will be free activities for everyone after the parade at the military museum.
Cape Coral Parkway will be the center of a new tradition. It will be shut down from Del Prado to Leonard starting at 10 a.m. until around 1 p.m. The parade will start at noon.
Mauricio will have a co-grand marshal in Ruth Blake this year. Blake was in the Navy for more than 20 years. She served in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War. Stories of wartime are still sometimes tough to talk about for the veterans.
“So people dying every day,” Mauricio said. “From the grace of God, I was able to make it.”