The public will have an opportunity to recognize U.S. military service on Thursday.
The annual Veteran’s Day celebration is hosted by the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and the City of Sanibel and takes place on November 11 at 10:55 am on the flagpole in front of City Hall. Before the start of the program, music will be played from 10:45 a.m.
“It’s meant to celebrate the veterans who have served the country and who have served in the past.” Fred Bondurant, a past local chapter president and event organizer, said. “And to draw attention to their service.”
Before the start of the program, the BIG ARTS Concert Band, under the direction of August Thoma, will play.
“They’ll play patriotic music like (John Philip) Sousa marches, ‘My Country, Tis of Thee’ and the like.” he said.
Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 1740 will fly the flag with the Sanibel Police Department Honor Guard at 11am.
“The police honor guard trains the scouts on how to do it right.” Bondurant said. “You can let them do the best they can and then they are there to help them with the actual rearing.”
The senior pastor of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, Rev. Dr. John Danner, will hold the invocation. The Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, the Christian Science Church of Sanibel-Captiva, the Bat Yam Temple of the Islands, the Captiva Chapel by the Sea, and others have done so in the past.
“We try to get a different religious representative every year” he said.
The chapter also chooses a special guest speaker for the celebration every year. This year it becomes a Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club member and retired Army Lt. Col. William Harkey of Sanibel.
“They can talk about what they have learned from their time in the service or about experiences they have had that they want to share.” Bondurant said on the subject, noting that the speakers choose what to discuss.
“We once had a prisoner of war from Vietnam. We had another guy who was a Navy fighter pilot who talked about his role in sinking the largest battleship ever built. “ he said. “A rabbi talked about what a chaplain does for the military.”
The winners of the annual Veterans Day Essay Contest, hosted by the MOAA Chapter and the city’s Sanibel Recreation Center, will be recognized – a boy and a girl in grades 4-8 on the island. The theme for this year was “What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?”
Bondurant reported that a Chapter member and retired Navy Cmdr. Doug Quelch started the competition. He types and frames the essays for the winners, which they read out loud during the celebration.
The Bank of the Islands presents each young person with a check for US $ 100.
The celebration commemorates Sanibel veterans who died last year.
“Unfortunately we have six names this year”, he said. “We don’t usually have that many.”
Bondurant stated that their names would be read and some information about them would be passed on.
The audience also has the opportunity to speak.
“If a veteran wants to tell his story, or if someone wants to remember his or her uncle or father who served, we let him do it.” he said.
Playing “Water taps” the celebration will end.
The community is encouraged to come out.
“It is a chance to remember and recognize and honor those who have served and are serving” Bondurant said Veterans Day is for all service members. “It’s kind of a feel-good thing.”
In other related news:
THE SANIBEL SCHOOL
The Sanibel School Music Department presents its Veterans Day program “The Spirit of America!” for students and employees today, 10.11.
The program includes fourth and fifth grade students.
The live performance will be recorded and posted for family, friends, veterans and active service members to watch and enjoy until the end of the day by 11:59 p.m. on November 12th
For more information, contact Music Director Joey Giangreco at [email protected]
EDISON AND FORD WINTER REAL ESTATE
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are offering free entry to U.S. veterans today, November 11th.
It includes a self-guided tour of the historic homes, gardens, the laboratory, and the museum. In addition, a five-piece brass band from Brass Music Elements will perform at the banyan tree from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Veterans must present VA identification or DD214 papers.
For more information, visit www.edisonford.org or call 239-334-7419.
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are located at 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.
To learn more about the island’s Veterans Day celebration, contact Bondurant at [email protected]
Sanibel City Hall is located at 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel.
WHEN YOU GO
Veterans Day Annual Celebration
November 11 at 10:55 am; Music starts at 10:45 am
Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel
Free and public