Wreaths are laid in front of the Hurricane Monument by Stephanie Scuderi and Cinnamon Edgar and Daughters of the American Revolution during a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday morning. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

The American flag swayed to the breeze as local residents and dignitaries came out to the 1935 Hurricane Monument in Islamorada for the annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday morning. Organized by the Matecumbe Historical Trust, the ceremony began with welcoming remarks by Barbara Edgar, president of the Matecumbe Historical Trust, followed by an invocation by Pastor Bob Pavey. Local boy scouts presented the colors and Dan Furmanik sang the National Anthem. Rep. Jim Mooney provided remarks on the Hurricane Monument, which served as a backdrop to the several speakers. The monument honors World War I veterans who were in the Keys working on the highway when a powerful storm took their lives and the lives of locals on Sept. 2, 1935. Monroe County Mayor David Rice and Vice Mayor Henry Rosenthal also provided remarks. Cinnamon Edgar and Stephanie Scuderi laid a wreath sponsored by Centennial Bank. The Daughters of the American Revolution also placed a wreath in front of the monument. Furmanik sang “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless the USA.” A benediction by Pastor Tony Hammon concluded the ceremony. 

Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.