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People pay respect to veterans, honor heroes at SWFL memorial wall

A lot of Southwest Florida’s veterans live in Charlotte County. Many of them are carrying flags Monday to honor the fallen.

At the Vietnam Wall in Punta Gorda, etched on black granite, are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or are still missing.

Veterans and their loved ones gathered Monday in Punta Gorda to honor the fallen. (Credit: WINK News)

“It’s a day of remembrance to go to the wall,” said Air Force Veteran Ed Schuppenhauer. “It’s a way all of us, it’s our form of expression, a thank you to them.”

Thanking the brave men and women who died for our freedom.

“It’s a chance for everybody to realize what people went through for their freedoms, why we’re here and what we’re doing here, and the families and the people that respect this country are here showing their respect,” Schuppenhauer said. “I was Air Force, flew reconnaissance. We lost two aircraft and full crews, 43 guys, at one time. It’s just a day to remember them.”

Flags, flowers and moments of reflection around the wall, honoring heroes.

Veterans and their loved ones gathered Monday in Punta Gorda to honor the fallen. (Credit: WINK News)

“Michael’s my hero,” said Army Veteran Francis Moriarty. “My grandfather, Michael Francis Sullivan, was killed in World War One. It’s a very special day for me. I was a captain in Vietnam at a mass hospital and so we cared for a lot of the heroes. Unfortunately, some of them are on the wall here.”

This place and this day are about remembering those who gave everything.

“The sacrifice they have done for all of us, that’s why we’re here today,” said the Patriot Riders.

“For all these veterans that are here today, it means a lot,” said event organizer, Karen Klass. “It was mental peace for all of them…for freedom. It means a lot.”

Saluting the brave on Memorial Day.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Briana Harvath
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