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BCC Ceremony Honors Local Veterans


Massing of Colors flags

November 11, 2012 - Veterans from across the Space Coast paused Sunday to honor those who have served their country in a special Veterans Day ceremony at Brevard Community College.

The 30th annual "Massing of the Colors" on the Cocoa Campus featured several speakers, including College President Dr. Jim Richey who praised those who have defended the nation in war and peace.

“Veterans are our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters, our relatives, friends and neighbors, and to them we owe the precious freedoms that make America the beacon to the world,” he said.

The day's featured speaker was Rear Admiral William D. Baumgartner, who serves as the Commander of the seventh Coast Guard District. RADM Baumgartner is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Harvard Law School and was previously the Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the Coast Guard.

Lt. Col. Henry Adams, part of the Military Order of the World Wars which co-sponsored the event, presided over a time of special recognition for three Brevard residents killed this year in Afghanistan:

  • Army Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, of Melbourne.
  • Army Specialist Justin Horsley, 21, of Palm Bay.
  • Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan W. Gifford, 34, of Palm Bay.
Thomas Gifford
A Somber Occasion: Thomas Gifford finds his son's name on the Wall of Honor at the Cocoa Campus Amphitheater. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Gifford of Palm Bay was among three Brevard residents killed this past year in Afghanistan.

Their names are now engraved on the Wall of Honor at the George F. Schlatter Veterans Memorial Amphitheater on the Cocoa Campus. They join 169 other Brevard residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts since World War I.

“To the members of their families who are with us today, please know that we share your loss, that you remain in our thoughts and prayers, and that your loved ones will never be forgotten,” said Richey.

He added, “To all veterans here this afternoon, thank you for your service, for everything you do to help your fellow veterans when they return home, and for your efforts to make our community a better place to live.

You represent the very best of what our nation stands for, a standard that is passed from generation to generation that never waivers, never falters and never falls. On this Veterans Day — indeed, every day — we salute you.”

You can see a complete gallery of more photos from the event on the College's Facebook page.