Fidelity Bank of Florida’s 6th Annual Remembrance Event

By: Shawna Serig Kelsch

History: Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women who died in military service for the United States – to date more than one million in battle. It was designated a federal holiday in 1971, and schools, banks, non-essential government offices and many businesses are closed. The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May (this year on Monday, May 29).

For the past five years on the Friday before Memorial Day, Fidelity Bank of Florida on Merritt Island has turned its parking lot and lobby into a place of remembrance and celebration to honor military personnel who served, and or
sacrificed their lives in service to others.

“It’s our way, a small way, to say thank you to the service men and women who sacrificed for us, and to bring the community together,” said Fidelity Bank of Florida’s Vice President Sue Eastling-Chastain.

The idea came about just after Eastling-Chastain and bank CEO/ President J. Lamar Roberts joined the organization in 2011. The two were discussing how to convey the bank’s commitment to the community and decided that one way to do this was to honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice – their life in the line of duty.

The celebration has an old-time feel with neighborhood appeal. “Part of our Fidelity Bank of Florida staff – about 30 total – get involved by helping with the grocery runs, set up, cooking, networking with attendees and more,” Eastling-Chastain said.

“They also bring in military memorabilia that is their own or from family and friends to share and display,” she said.

The event, which runs Friday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Fidelity Bank of Florida, 1380 N. Courtenay Pkwy., Merritt Island, serves up lunch including grilled hot dogs, chips, soft drinks and water and a selection of sweets – at no charge. Donations are accepted and passed on to the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Park.

“Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Park has been kind enough to lend us some big items (like Jeeps) that were actually used in World War II,” Eastling-Chastain said.

Reflection & Appreciation

“The Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Park is located at 400 S. Sykes Creek Pkwy., Merritt Island, behind the Merritt Square Mall. The center has a museum, a gift shop, a library, and an 82-acre Veterans Memorial Park. Most importantly, it is an excellent resource of information and support for veterans,” said Eastling-Chastain.

Past events have drawn solid numbers and this year should be no different with 150-200 expected to attend.

The local ROTC will be onsite to perform. The Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard Mobile Museum will be on display. In addition, the bank will host a display of military Jeeps, information from all of the wars and branches of military service, including uniforms, medals, weapons and photos.

This event is not the only way Fidelity Bank of Florida honors – and assists – veterans. Through its Military Checking Accounts, veterans are offered free checking accounts with no monthly service charge and no required minimum balance.

The bank also offers home loans for American veterans (VA Loans) and business loans for businesses owned and controlled by one or more of the following: veteran, active duty military in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), reservist, National Guard member, spouse of any of these groups, a widowed spouse of a service member, veteran who died during service, or a service-connected disability (SBA Veteran Advantage Program).

Want to Learn More?

For more information about
Fidelity National Bank of Florida, NA, visit online at or call 321-452-0011