November 11 is Veterans Day. It's a day America sets aside to honor and remember those who served, and continue to serve, our country with military service.
Here is a list of some of the events happening all around Southwest Florida today:
Staff Sgt. Mark Scialdo honored
Park St, Naples
email@example.com -- (239)-370-8709
Staff Sgt. Mark Scialdo's name being added to the Veterans Memorial. Scialdo, from Naples, died when his helicopter went down in Afghanistan earlier this year. His name is being added to the Veterans Memorial plaque honoring those from our community who gave their lives serving our country.
The event continues with a flag retirement ceremony presented by the Museum of Military Memorabilia at the Naples Airport
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Veterans Day Celebration
The Museum of Military Memorabilia
500 Terminal Drive, Naples
9 a.m. - Museum will open with extra displays in the airport terminal and military vehicles outside.
10:50 a.m. - The national anthem will be played, followed by the ringing of the bell on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m., to publicly recognize and honor veterans past and present. An invocation and two guest speakers will follow the anthem, and refreshments will be served.
11:30 a.m. - Naples resident Ragnhild Sunde will share her experiences from World War II based on the personal diary she kept. When Hitler's Nazi troops invaded her native country, Sunde was a schoolgirl in Norway. She endured the fears and terror that followed the Nazi occupation and the lack of food that resulted in constant malnutrition.
1:30 p.m. - Naples resident and historian Darren R. Moran, who served during WWII in the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, will speak.
18th Annual Veterans Day Observance
"Honoring Those that Served"
Gulf Middle School
1809 SW 36th Terrace, Cape Coral
Student Government and Civil Air Patrol will serve as hosts for the day. The school's band and chorus will be performing patriotic selections for our guests and student body. Additionally, there will be student readings and speeches by invited guests.
Finally, there will be a salute firing squad and we will conclude with Taps. The public is invited to attend. Veterans, honored guest and their families are invited to or reception immediately following observance in the media center.
Cape Coral Veterans Day Parade
SE 47th Terrace between SE 9th Pl. And SE 15th Ave.
The is the 12th year of the Cape Coral Veterans Day parade. It pays tribute to those who have served, and are serving in the United States military.
Each year, the parade highlights Veterans from one of America's armed conflicts, this year the parade will spotlight the Veterans of the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War lasted 20 years from November 1955 to April 1975. During the two decade-long conflict, over 58,000 American soldiers were killed in action. Another 153,000 soldiers were wounded in action. According to the United States Government 1,645 soldiers are still classified as Missing In Action from the war.
In honor of those who served in Vietnam, the parade, for the first time, will have multiple Grand Marshals. Veterans from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, who served in the Vietnam War will be represented as Grand Marshals in the parade.
The following local Veterans will serve as the Grand Marshals of the parade:
Arne "Two Socks" Suominen- (Army)
Gary Bowler- (Marines)
Lee Huffman- (Navy)
Richard Wetherford- (Air Force)
Dick Hucvek- (Coast Guard)
Another highlight of the parade each year is the participation of the JROTC students from all of the public schools in Lee County. This year over 1,000 JRTOC students will march in the parade. The parade will also include the marching bands from North Fort Myers and Ida Baker High Schools.
In addition to the students, there will be over 50 different clubs, organizations, businesses, and community leaders participating in the parade,
Those wishing to attend the parade can view the procession along SE47th Street. Those attending are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket. Parking is free.
Veterans Day Ceremony
Hodges University (the Pavilion)
2655 Northbrooke Drive, Naples
Palmetto Ridge High School Junior ROTC, under the command of Cadet Katie Larson, will provide the color guard for the event, followed by a speech by guest speaker, Captain Wayne Smith, US Air Force (Ret.).
A Vietnam P.O.W., Smith was a fighter pilot and flew 90 missions over North Vietnam and Laos before being shot down in January, 1968. He once sat in a cell near Sen. John McCain in the infamous Plantation prison outside Hanoi. Smith was imprisoned for five years before being released. His honors for service in combat include the Legion of Merit, two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, seven Air Medals and the Purple Heart.
During the ceremony, a flag, originally flown above the U.S. Capitol, will be presented to Naples resident Bob Moates. As a WWII veteran, Bob served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Guam and Saipan in 1945. Sergeant Moates was with the Air Transport Command and was transferred to Japan in early 1946. Moates has been dutifully serving
Florida's U.S. Representative Trey Radel speaking at the American Veterans Traveling Tribute
Riverside Park, Bonita Springs
U.S. 41 in Olde Bonita
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Veterans Portrait Giveaway
Veterans Foundation Open house
4820 Leonard Street, Cape Coral
FineArt.com - (800) 949-4945.
Artist, Rick Kelley is donating a choice of five images from his "Patriotic Series" to veterans attending the event
The print giveaway is part of Kelley's "Families of the Fallen" project that he and private donors began more than a year ago to memorialize the loss of America's heroes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. To date, Kelley has given away over 130 of the "Patriotic Series" medium-sized prints.
The art in this collection was inspired from the events of September 11, 2001 and includes "On Freedom's Wing," "Liberties Flight," "Reflections of Freedom," "The Homecoming" "The Patriot" and "Coming Home."
Each medium-sized print is valued at $50. Original works from Kelley's collection will also be available for sale.
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
USO Style Show
Live music from WWII era, featuring Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrick and Motown
The Naples Depot
1051 5th Ave. S., Naples
www.colliermuseums.com (239) 262-6525.
Naples' role as an Army Air Corps training base during World War II is remembered each November 11th at the Naples Depot Museum, following the city's Veterans Day ceremony. Although closed to train traffic for the duration, the old station came alive every Saturday night with USO shows and dances designed to boost the morale of soldiers stationed at the nearby army airfield (now Naples Airport).
The Depot's annual USO show faithfully recreates the sights and big band sounds of the 1940s with an afternoon of music and memories that brought the "greatest generation" onto the dance floor. A special ceremony and opening address honors veterans from all of America's armed conflicts.
A limited number of chairs will be provided, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own.