Letters to the editor

Meaning of Memorial Day

For many Americans, Memorial Day means the first day of summer, boating, beaches and barbeques, but sadly, for many of us, the true meaning of this day has been lost, ignored or just forgotten.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died while serving in our nation’s armed forces. The holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 to honor Union and Confederate soldiers, but following World War I, it was expanded to honor those servicemen and women who have died in all of our wars.

In 1971, the National Holiday Act declared Memorial Day a federal holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of mourning – a sacred day of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price to guarantee our freedoms. But unfortunately, by making Memorial Day part of a three-day weekend, it may have contributed to the original meaning and spirit of Memorial Day being lost on many of us.

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. It asked Americans to pause for one minute on Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time and think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This Memorial Day, let’s not forget the true meaning of the holiday: the pain and the sacrifices of those who paid so dearly for what we all enjoy today.

Bob Peters


American Legion Post 25

Lake Placid

AP land

I would like to clarify and supplement the newspaper article published on May 16 titled, “Avon Park considers buying lakefront land for treated water.”

The proposed total land purchase is for 70 acres. We are proposing to utilize only 43 percent of the land or about 30 acres for utility purposes. Of significance, the remaining 40 acres would be zoned for other municipal purposes. Please realize that more than half of the desired property would remain vacant and would be developed in future years as the council deemed most appropriate.

If this land is acquired, my recommendation would be to open the lakefront for recreational purposes. This would require a multi-year phased in capital project.

With regards to the 30 acres designated for utilities, the city would not be selecting the land mass immediately on the “lakefront.” As a matter of fact, the 30 acres earmarked for utilities would be far away from the lakes. We do not view this land purchase as strictly a “utilities-only land purchase,” and my preference in this letter is to emphasize the available potential of the remaining 40 acres which would be developed for other municipal purposes.

The construction of any structural element by the city would require an environmental permit, public hearings, minimum setbacks and compliance with all applicable sections of the Florida Administrative Code. Although, the designated 30 acres for utilities is of high importance for our future utility needs.

For us, the remaining 40 acres represents a large investment in matters which address quality of life and continued growth for the city. The proposed acquisition of 70 acres requires us to think “big” while keeping the city’s future growth and sustainability in mind.

Lastly, I am simply expressing my recommendations on matters of importance for future years. Ultimately, all of these high level multi-million dollar decisions rest with the City Council of Avon Park.

Julian Deleon

City Manager

City of Avon Park