Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery
The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is hosting a Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 26 at 2 p.m. at the gravesite of Cpl. Milton Lewis at the Historic Evergreen Cemetery. This annual event is sponsored by the Milton Lewis Young Marines of Gainesville, who will dedicate a newly installed bench at the gravesite of Cpl. Lewis.
"The Milton Lewis Young Marine Unit of Gainesville is a youth program which is named in honor of Cpl. Milton Lewis,” Cary Hill and Jamie Hill from the Milton Lewis Young Marines explain, “and our goal has been to mark his grave site with his history as a US Marine Corps Navy Cross recipient. In 2012, this was a reality and on Memorial Day had the first dedication. Having the ceremony at Evergreen is important in honoring this young man from Gainesville who is a national hero. Most importantly Memorial Day honors Cpl. Lewis and the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. We look forward to seeing our veterans and Gainesville citizens on Memorial Day in honoring Cpl. Milton Lewis.”
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Milton Lewis (1920-1942) was the first person from Alachua County and Gainesville to be killed in action during World War II. On the island of Tulagi during the invasion of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific in 1942, Cpl. Lewis’s unit was under severe attack. He singlehandedly charged an enemy machine gunner’s nest and destroyed it so his unit could overtake them and complete their mission. Cpl. Lewis was mortally wounded during the assault.
For his heroic action, Cpl. Lewis posthumously received the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest military decoration. A U.S. Navy ship was named after Cpl. Lewis, and the Gainesville stadium previously known as Citizen’s Field was renamed in his honor on Memorial Day in 2000.
Evergreen Cemetery is located at 401 SE 21st Ave. in Gainesville. Plenty of parking is available in the cemetery. The event is free and sponsored by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and the Milton Lewis Young Marines of Gainesville.
For more information, please contact Cary Hill, the Commanding Officer of the Milton Lewis Young Marines of Gainesville, at 352-514-3915; Gary Smith, cemetery coordinator of Evergreen Cemetery, at 352-393-8535 or go to www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.