This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Memorial Day observances are going on throughout the area today. At 3 p.m. a National Moment of Remembrance will be held with people asked to pause for one minute to remember American men and women who died in active military service.
Government offices – local, state and federal – are closed today as well as offices, banks and many businesses. Schools are closed in Putnam and Flagler counties today but will be back in session tomorrow with classes continuing through Friday. St. Johns County students finished their school year on Friday but teachers will be back to wrap up things Tuesday.
If you’re looking for a patriotic sight, drive down U.S. 17 to Pierson, known as the fern capital of the world. They have full-size flags flying from poles all along the highway. If you’re in St. Augustine, notice the hundreds of small American flags around city hall downtown. Pilot Club of St. Augustine put them up to honor service personnel who have died. They got unexpected assistance from the public as people paused to lend a hand.
Plenty of good things being said about the revived Palatka Blue Crab Festival. Organizers had to scramble to put the festival together and their work paid off as people turned out Friday through Sunday. Kudos to Palatka Young Professionals, the other volunteers and the sponsors who made it happen.
The investigation is continuing into the death of a 21-year-old Interlachen man Friday as Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies look for a car involved in the incident. Witnesses say Kody O’Hara was talking with occupants of a black four-door sedan in the parking area of Matchett LP Gas when a dispute began. The vehicle pulled out of the parking lot with O’Hara holding onto the door. He lost his grip and fell onto the roadway of State Road 20. Make and model of the vehicle is unknown. An autopsy to determine cause of death will be conducted by the District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Augustine.
Smitty’s Internet Café on Anastasia Boulevard in St. Augustine is closed after a raid Thursday on the adult arcade. St. Augustine Police Department officers served a warrant at the property following an investigation spurred by numerous complaints of noise ordinance violations, disturbances and suspicious activity. No arrests were made, but charges are pending according to the department.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investing a death on Farragut Drive in Palm Coast Saturday. Authorities responded after a 9-1-1 call saying a woman had shot herself. The 27-year-old mother of four later died at an area hospital.
With summer comes an annual program — Blue Star Museums — that allows the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families to visit participating museums free of charge. The program continues through Labor Day. In St. Augustine Lightner Museum and St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum are taking part.
When you’re remembering U.S. service personnel today, don’t forget the WASPs – Women Airforce Service Pilots. They were civilian women pilots, attached to fly military aircraft during World War II. They flew planes from factories to bases all over the U.S. Thirty-eight of them died in the line of duty, notes Putnam County’s Marlene Williams, whose mother Lesley Williams was in the WASP class 44-6. It wasn’t until 1977 that the remaining WASPs were granted veteran status.