(WFLA) — Veterans will be honored across Tampa Bay at Veterans Day parades and other events on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Veterans Day began as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, which was the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress later passed a resolution for an annual observance and national holiday on Nov. 11. It was later named Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.
Here is a list of Veterans Day events scheduled here in Tampa Bay.
Bay Pines- Annual Veterans Day Ceremony
The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony will take place in the courtyard located buildings 2 and 37 on the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center campus. The event is open to all Veterans, their family and friends, and the general public.
Highlights of the ceremony will include guest speakers from VA, MacDill Air Force Base and U.S. Rep. David W. Jolly, 13th Congressional District of Florida. The event will also include musical performances by the Florida Orchestra and the Keswick Christian School Choir; a special parade of colors provided by local Veteran Service Organizations; and traditional military presentations to include the posting and retiring of the U.S. Flag, a firing salute, and a taps performance.
“Our annual ceremony provides an ideal opportunity for the community to join us to honor Veterans and active duty service members,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.
“Last year, thousands attended the event to honor America’s heroes, and we anticipate another wonderful event this year,” she said.
St. Petersburg – Canterbury School of Florida, 990 62nd Ave. NE
Grateful students in PK3 through grade 4 will show appreciation for their freedom this Veterans Day just as they have for the past 14 years during this Flag ceremony at Canterbury School of Florida from 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Each year students invite all veterans and active military personnel to this great American event.
Prekindergarten students will present retired flags to veterans from the local VFW while fourth grade students recite patriotic poems. The ceremony concludes with the “Parade of Armed Forces” where medleys of songs are played and a flag representing each military branch is walked around by the veterans and the children who support them. Refreshments sponsored by the USO Club will be served afterward to honored guests, and all visitors are invited to the classrooms to speak about their experiences in the military.
Canterbury faculty and staff are the proud parents or spouses of more than 15 active duty members, not to mention the countless students who have family members overseas. Throughout the year, each Lower School grade supports the troops through service projects that involve everything from writing poems, to donating their Halloween candy to the troops in October.
Largo– City of Largo to Honor Veterans in Largo Central Park
The City of Largo will honor all veterans and active duty personnel in a Veterans Day Ceremony on Wednesday, November 11 at 5pm. This event will be held at the Military Court of Honor and will have music provided by Florida Fan Fare Brass, a keynote speaker and color guard presentation. Join in before the ceremony starting at 11:11am for a live band, activities, military vehicle displays, bird displays and a cookout in the park.
All ages are welcome to attend this free honorary event. Largo Central Park is located at 101 Central Park Drive. For more information, visit LargoEvents.com or call (727) 587-6740 ext. 5014.
Davenport- Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center in Davenport
As America prepares to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for its freedom, Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center in Davenport (formerly known as Polk Outpost 27), will salute veterans with a special Veterans Day event taking place November 7 – 11, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., featuring a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This reduced scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. was built to honor the people who served, died and are missing in the Vietnam War. Visitors to the event who have family members who served in Vietnam are also asked to bring photos with them to the exhibit, to share with future visitors. Memorabilia will be on display throughout the visitor center during the event dates, and on Veterans Day, November 11, Battery A, 2nd Battalion 116th Field Artillery from Bartow, FL, will be providing the static display of a Howitzer and a HMMWV (Humvee) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free. A raffle (tickets $1 each) will be held for attraction tickets, with the proceeds going to benefit wounded veterans.
Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week (excluding major holidays) and is located at 101 Adventure Court in Davenport (along U.S. Highway 27), a half-mile south of I-4 at Exit 55. For more information contact Dennis Budde at 863-420-2586.
New Port Richey- Supervisor of Elections and Pasco County Schools Sponsor Veterans Day Ceremony
Pasco County FL – Brian E. Corley, Supervisor of Elections, Pasco County, in conjunction with Pasco County Schools, will celebrate the 2nd annual district-wide Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. at Center for the Arts at River Ridge. The ceremony, an event to honor and celebrate our veterans for the sacrifices they have made to secure our freedom, will be videotaped and made available to all 70,000 students in 84 schools districtwide.
Superintendent Kurt S. Browning and Brian Corley will offer opening remarks followed by keynote speaker Congressman Gus Bilirakis. The River Ridge ROTC will present the colors and perform the flag folding ceremony. The flag, an official one that was flown over the capitol in Washington, D.C., will be presented to a veteran who is a Pasco County Schools alumni. Music will be provided by River Ridge Middle and High Schools, and the Cypress Elementary School Chorus.
Our partnership with Pasco County Schools is an extension of our Vote in Honor of a Vet program and our annual high school voter registration drive. The high school registration drive will take place immediately following the ceremony at all Pasco County High Schools. Elections’ Office Ambassadors will be available to register and/or pre-register eligible high school students.
The River Ridge Center for the Arts is located at 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey, and the public is invited to attend.
Venice – Veteran’s Day celebration
On November 11, Venice residents will gather at Bay Indies’ Veteran’s Park to honor both American and Canadian veterans and thank them for their service. The ceremony will be led by Vincent Sinnott, a local Air Force veteran and longtime Venice resident.
Sinnott will begin the morning ceremony by welcoming attendees and sharing a few words about the importance of Veterans Day. All branches of the United States military will be recognized with a presentation of each flag and the playing of each branch’s hymn. Following the branch recognition, select residents will honor veterans with poems and personal stories.
To honor the Canadian veterans in the area, red poppy, also known as a remembrance poppy, flower pins will be handed out and the Canadian flag will be presented during the Canadian national anthem.
When: Wednesday, November 11 at 10 a.m.
Where: Bay Indies Veteran’s Park, 950 Ridgewood Ave., Venice
Sarasota- Veterans Day parade in downtown Sarasota
Wednesday, November 11 starting at 10 a.m. Hosted by the City of Sarasota in conjunction with the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee, the parade will begin at Main Street and Osprey Avenue. At the conclusion of the parade, a ceremony will be held at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue at approximately 11 a.m.
The parade and ceremony will continue Sarasota’s longstanding history of honoring military personnel. Units appearing in the parade will include: veterans service organizations, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, color guards, marching bands, local high school Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps units, civic organizations and historical military equipment.
Temporary street closures for the parade will begin at 6 a.m. .
The theme for the 2015 Veterans Day ceremony is “When Duty Calls”. Retired U.S. Army Col. Stephen D. Cork will be the keynote speaker. Col. Cork served in staff and command positions in Germany, Vietnam, and throughout the United States. Following his military retirement, he was employed by Sarasota County as the Public Works Director and General Services Director. Col. Cork also was a founding member of the Sarasota Military Academy.
OUT OF AREA
Bushnell, Fla– Florida National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony
The Florida National Cemetery Joint Veterans Committee (JVC) will sponsor the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Florida National Cemetery on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Don Hahnfeldt, USN (Ret), Chairman Sumter County Commission will be the guest speaker.
Steve Jerve of WFLA News Channel 8 will be the Master of Ceremonies. Steven Herring will lead the Pasco High School Band as they play patriotic music prior to and during the ceremony. Patriotic songs during the ceremony will be performed by Linda Burnette, Naomi McClain will perform on the bagpipes and Brian Rittinger will play Taps. There will be a rifle salute by Sumter Correctional Honor Guard and posting of the colors. Guests are invited to arrive early and enjoy the patriotic and inspirational musical prelude which will begin shortly before the ceremony. Seating is limited; those attending are encouraged to arrive early, wear comfortable clothing and bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit upon. The ceremony begins promptly at 11:00 a.m. – rain or shine.
The Joint Veterans Committee and the Florida National Cemetery extend an invitation to all veterans’ organizations and the general public to take this opportunity to remember and honor the men and women who served and gave so much to protect our great nation. Organizations with colors are invited to participate in the massing of colors at the beginning of the program. Veterans’ organizations should plan to arrive by 9:30 a.m.
The Avenue of Flags consisting of approximately 400 flags will be on display along the roadways of the cemetery. These flags were donated to the cemetery by the next of kin of deceased veterans and were once draped over the caskets or cremation urns of veterans.