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Veterans Day events include a parade, tributes

By Staff | Nov 7, 2009

Various events are being held for Veterans Day this year to honor all military veterans.
A first-time event, “Operation – Tribute At Sea,” is calling all boaters to participate in honoring those who have been buried at sea. The operation will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
All boaters, veterans or not, are welcome to join Rainbow Memorials At Sea, while they travel the Caloosahatchee River to their final destination, which will be three miles offshore from the Sanibel bridge in the Gulf of Mexico.
Captain Pat McCarn said in a prepared statement that “because of the history of Nov. 11, on the 11th day of the 11th month at precisely 11 a.m. (marking the end of WWI), in honor of all veterans, we will be placing a biodegradable floral wreath on the Gulf of Mexico, which is generously being donated by Cape Coral Floral Designs.”
Pastor Dane Blankenship, a retired Navy Veteran, of the Cape Coral First Baptist Church will lead the group in prayer.
Rainbow Memorials At Sea will also perform a “scattering of ashes for any veteran who has not been laid to rest” for no charge on Wednesday. Form DD214 is required and those who wish to use this service are asked to contact Captain McCarn.
The “Operation – Tribute At Sea” will conclude with an circle of remembrance.
“As the boats pull away, we are requesting that you circle the area twice (circle of remembrance) as a sign of respect and then blow your ship’s horn in honor,” McCarn said in a prepared statement.
Participants will include the Cape Coral U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Lee County Sheriff Marine Division and Tow Boat US.
Those who wish to participate are encouraged to RSVP by contacting Captain Pat McCarn at (239) 673-8749 or captpat@capecharters.net.
The eighth annual Veterans Day Parade, which will remember the Forgotten War and honor veterans of the Korean War will take place on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
“This is the largest parade in Lee and County and righteously so because it celebrates the heroism and patriotism of our veterans who have served and for those who are serving and will become our veterans,” the city’s special events coordinator Todd King said. “Out of all the parades, this one means the most to the Cape residents, city leaders and all of us who are Americans.”
The parade will feature two marching bands from local schools and 700 Lee County JROTC marchers. King said in addition to that they currently have 150 registered units for the parade as of Wednesday afternoon.
King said he encourages those who attend the parade to support the local restaurants in the Downtown area of Cape Coral, along Southeast 47th Terrace.
“We think that is the right thing to do for this event,” he said.
Lee County Joint Veterans Association, YMCA, City of Cape Coral, Lee County Schools, City of Fort Myers, Lee County Government and Lee County Sheriff’s Department have joined efforts in making the Veterans Day Parade possible.
The parade will take place on Southeast 47th Terrace.
For information about the parade call (239)573-3125.
The Uncommon Friends Foundation and Hope HealthCare Services will provide a “Salute to Valor” presentation by Keni Thomas, an accomplished country singer and recording artist, who also received the Bronze Star for valor for this Army company’s mission in Mogadishu, Somalia on Wednesday.
The mission that Thomas and his Army colleagues experienced was detailed in the best-selling book and movie, “Black Hawk Down.”
A buffet dinner under the oak tree of the Burroughs Home will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a color guard presentation at 6:45 p.m. The presentation by Thomas will begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the dinner and program are $135. Tickets for those who wish to just attend the speaker portion of the night is $30.
The program will be at the Burroughs Home located at 2505 First Street in Fort Myers.
Proceeds from the program will benefit both Hope HealthCare Services and the Uncommon Friends Foundation. For information call (239) 656-3260.
Another Wednesday celebration will consist of the Veterans Day Midpoint Madness 5K run, which will be held at 7 p.m. with the course beginning at the Midpoint Bridge at Colonial Boulevard and McGregor Boulevard,
The entry fees for the event is $25 for those who register before Nov. 10, $30 on race day and $20 for participants who are 17 years old and younger.
A commemorative T-shirt will be given to all registered participants and a variety of food and drinks will be available on Veterans Day.
The course will begin on Colonial Boulevard at the top of the fly-over for McGregor Boulevard. The run will then continue on Colonial Boulevard across the Caloosahatchee River on the Midpoint Bridge. Once runners make it up and over the bridge they will turn around and return and finish on Colonial Boulevard near the entrance to the Royal Palm Square Shopping Center.
Awards will be given to the Top Male and Female Masters Winners for participants who are 40 years old and older, 50 years old and older and 60 years old and older.
Three other awards will be given for each age group to first place Male and Female Military Veterans who are 49 years old and younger and 50 years old and older.
Male and female awards will also be given to various age groups ranging from 10 and younger to 70 years old and older.
The event will be timed with the new ChronoTrack Timing system, which is a disposable D-tag timing strip for participants shoes. The system will be given to participants when they pick up their race number.
For information or to register for the 5K run visit www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.
The American Red Cross of Lee County will also be participating in various Veterans Day events throughout the week, due to their extensive support with the U.S. Armed Forces.
Volunteers and staff will be present during the Safeguard our Seniors Task Force at the Cape Coral Public Library, located at 921 S.W. 39th Terrace from 10 a.m. until noon.
Members will also be present at the Cape Coral Veterans Headquarters on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The headquarters is located at 3100 Del Prado Blvd.
The American Red Cross of Lee County will also participate in the Cape Coral parade on Wednesday, along with the “Salute to Valor” presentation at the Burroughs Home in Fort Myers.
The Downtowner Car Wash will be taking part in the Veterans Day festivities by offering all veterans a free full service car wash on Wednesday.
The free car wash on Veterans Day began in 2007 to show support for the armed forces personnel and to reward Veterans for their service.
Veterans who wish to take advantage of the free car wash are asked to inform the Downtowner Car Wash verbally.
The car wash is located at 1009 Del Prado Blvd. S. For information call (239) 772-CARS or visit www.downtownercarwash.com.
For those who would like to start honoring American vets a day early, the Lee County School District will hold its seventh annual “Pride and Patriotism Program” at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.
This yearly celebration showcases the patriotic writing, musical and artistic talents of our students while paying tribute to our veterans, according to Cape Coral Councilmember Bill Deile, a Vietnam vet and retired colonel.
This year’s program will give special recognition to Vietnam veterans.
Seats for the event are $7 and may be purchased at the Southwest Florida Symphony office or at the Barbara B. Mann box office.
And this month the Lee County Domestic Animal Services will join the Veterans Day celebration during the month of November, by offering a free pet adoption for all active and retired military personnel with proper documentation.
According to a prepared statement the adoption of LCDAS pets include “spaying or neutering, age appropriate vaccinations, de-worming, flea treatment, heartworm test for dogs six months or older, feline aids and leukemia test for cats, Lee County pet license for pets three months and older, ten day pet adoption health guarantee, Microchip ID and a bag of Science Diet pet food.”
For more information call (239) 533-7387 or visit www.leelostpets.com.