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Retired Navy captain guest speaker at Mason City Memorial Day ceremony (VIDEO)

MASON CITY — A retired Navy captain was the keynote speaker at Mason City’s Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday at Elmwood-St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Captain Joan Platz, a native of Lake Mills who now lives in Mason City, was part of the second graduating class from the United States Naval Academy that included women. Platz flew helicopters and was stationed in Italy and the Persian Gulf, and was the commanding officer at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida.

Platz says we must never forget our responsibilities to honor those currently serving our country. “For when the American ideals are challenged and our diplomacy fails, our leaders are faced with the heavy burden, the decision to send our greatest assets into harm’s way. We send our sons and daughters, we send our future. America must remain mindful of that decision and cherish our sons and daughters’ sacrifice.”

Platz says with all our rights and freedoms, it’s our duty to remember our enormous inherent responsibility.  “We cannot take these freedoms for granted, we must hold them dear, and above all, we must never forget our sons and daughters who defended our great nation with their blood, and always, always in their honor, cherish the privilege we have to be Americans.”

Platz concluded by asking those in attendance to honor the sacrifice of American heroes by living as proud Americans, thankful for the freedoms they fought to defend with their very lives.   “Let us leave here with a renewed dedication to truly honor them by continuing to dedicate our nation to the American ideals and to her most challenging task of leading the world and ensuring freedom, allowing us all to live in peace and prosperity. In honor of their sacrifice, may America continue to shine and may God bless the United States of America.”

You can watch Platz’s full address below. It was the 100th anniversary of the first Memorial Day program presented by the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association. 


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