Terri Finnerty gave a Memorial Day speech at American Legion Post 305 on St. Pete Beach. Finnerty talked about her hometown hero, John Basilone, known as Manila John, the only enlisted Marine in World War II to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart. He was killed on Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945 – the day the Marines invaded Iwo Jima. Finnerty’s speech also included the history of Memorial Day and she lamented that the true meaning of Memorial Day is being lost; the holiday is now more notable as the beginning of the summer season, a time to get away for a three-day vacation or take advantage of three-day sales.
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