Hundreds of British men came to Florida in the years before Pearl Harbor when Britain stood alone to face the Nazi hordes. No, they were not on vacation, they came to learn to be pilots for the British Royal Air Force.
Twenty-three of them remained and are interred in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Arcadia. These young men, 18 Englishmen, two Scots, two Welshmen and one Irishman, would never see their parents and families again. They died in crashed flights, a car accident and two from illness, but they are not forgotten.
For more than 60 years, the Arcadia Rotary Club and the good citizens of Arcadia have tended these graves, and until the demise of the flag attendant the Union Jack had been raised and lowered daily in reverence.
On Memorial Day every year, there are services on that small plot of British soil for those boys who will never go home. There are prayers, wreath laying and, yes, even the lone piper playing those haunting melodies of the Flower of the Forest and, of course, Amazing Grace.
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The wonderful people of Arcadia, led by the Rotary Club, have been forever faithful in assuring that these boys will never be forgotten. May God bless them.
I was born in Scotland, served in the RAF at the end of World War II, and have been an American for many, many years and was extremely impressed by the thoughtfulness of the Rotary Club of Arcadia.