Gold Star mother honors son, others who lost their lives at Memorial Day Observance

Gold Star mother honors son, others who lost their lives at Memorial Day Observance

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County mother is honoring her son and others who lost their lives while serving our country, after losing him to an explosion in Afghanistan back in 2010.

Annette Kirk, a veteran herself, is a Gold Star Mother and the second vice president of the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

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Kirk was the mother of Paul Cuzzupe, who graduated from Armwood High School and was one semester aware from graduating from Saint Leo University when he felt called to serve in the U.S. Army.

In 2010, Cuzzupe enlisted and was deployed to Afghanistan as a U.S. Army private first class.

But on Aug. 8 of that year, he died from an IED explosion.

Kirk is now turning her grief into action, serving with the organization.

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“I need to honor him, remember him. I do it every day anyway, but this day is special for us as a family to come together.”

On Sunday, the county held its 27th annual Memorial Day Observance at Veterans Memorial Park & Rear Admiral Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum. Members of the community spoke at the event, emphasizing the gift of being able to honor and remember our loved ones.

While speakers touched on how many of those lost come from different walks of life, they shared one thing in common: patriotism.

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“A sense of selfless service and supporting their beloved country,” one speaker said.

To view the full speech, click on the video below.

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