Southwest Florida has earned a reputation for being really patriotic, especially when it comes to serving and honoring United States military veterans. On Thursday, thousands gathered across the region on Veterans Day to honor and celebrate those who served our country.
After a $15,000 donation for its restoration, the Tribute to a Soldier statue stands tall. Local business owners saw its crumbling base and were able to replace the statue’s foundation. The statue was joined by three new monuments just in time for Veterans Day: a 20-foot Purple Heart Memorial flag, a memorial plaque from the Korean War Veteran’s Association and a flag for Vietnam vets.
The Purple Heart and a Korean War memorial are being dedicated Friday, as crowds flock to the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve on Southwest 23rd Terrace to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Bonita Springs is observing Veterans Day with a service at Riverside Park on Reynolds Street downtown. The service features honored vets as speakers, music, a flyover, a release of doves and other celebrations.
Also at Riverside Park, First Responders Warriors Cup will honor amputees who have traveled to Bonita Springs for two games of baseball. The Louisville Slugger Warriors Softball Team will compete against players from the Bonita Springs Fire and Rescue and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
A film director, inspired by Bonita Springs’ patriotism, is working on a documentary that features local veterans and Veterans Day celebrations.
Naples residents are honoring military veterans at a ceremony at Cambier Park on South Eighth Street.
In Charlotte County, hundreds of people gathered at Veterans Park for the annual Veterans Day celebration, hosted by the Military Heritage Museum and the Charlotte County Veteran’s Council. This was the first year the holiday was observed in front of the newly dedicated Vietnam Wall replica.
Members of the Legends Gold and Country Club are helping veterans in wheelchairs play golf with specialized carts. Club members spent five years raising money for the motorized chairs, which allow riders with disabilities to stand upright during games on the green.