Memorial Day in 1997 was celebrated on May 24 and many Americans far and wide held cookouts and barbeques. However, many of Tampa’s leaders, veterans and politicians were attending a very special ceremony that day at Veterans Memorial Park. Major General Joseph Lutz and the assembled quests stood in front of six, seven-foot columns of White Georgia Cherokee Marble that represent the five branches of our services with the forward tablet carved out with the Great Seal of the United States. The Capstones are carved from White Cherokee Georgia Marble with Etowah Pink Marble laid beneath each tablet to signify the blood shed for Democracy. The thirteen flutes are symbolic of our colonies and the fifty stars are symbolic of our states. The “Freedom Memorial” was the work of the Veterans Freedom Memorial Committee, Inc. formed by a team of vocal veterans led by Dave Braun, county staff, Trustees, Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa City Council. This Memorial site is considered hallowed ground by many veterans and will forever be a place to honor and hold dear those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.