A special traveling tribute
Cape Coral residents and visitors are invited to welcome to town on Thursday the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, which will be set up through Monday for the public to enjoy for free.
Sponsored by the RE/MAX Realty Team, the tribute will be escorted from Punta Gorda to the Cape’s Jaycee Park by a motorized honor guard at 3 p.m. Between 3:15 and 4 p.m., the public can set up along eastbound Veterans Memorial Parkway and southbound Del Prado Boulevard South to welcome it in.
“I’m hoping that the public lines the streets,” RE/MAX Realty Team owner Yoselyn Hollow said.
People can stop by the RE/MAX office and pick up an itinerary of the exhibit’s visit, as well as some American flags to wave. Local agencies and over 200 veteran motorcyclists are part of the escort.
It is the first time that the RE/MAX Realty Team has sponsored the tribute. Hollow explained that the Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation approached her on it, and that it was a no-brainer for her.
“I wanted to bring awareness to the veterans foundation,” she said. “They do a great deal for our men and women in uniform – the list goes on and on – and they do this 100 percent from donations.”
Proceeds raised at the exhibit, through T-shirt sales and donations, will go to the foundation.
“That money stays here and goes to work here,” Hollow said. “We need to make sure we provide the services and resources that they (veterans) need, and the veterans foundation does just that.”
The tribute, called the AVTT’s Cost of Freedom Tribute, will feature an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall that is 260 feet long and 8 feet tall at its apex. It will include a flag display, along with 190 feet of additional displays honoring all veterans and those serving today.
There will be panels with the presidents, various ranks and medals, and timelines and information on World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. U.S. conflicts and causalities from 1980-2000 will be included, as well as details from Sept. 11, the Global War on Terror, Fort Hood incidents and more.
The exhibit will features statistics and information from older historical conflicts, including the Spanish-American War, Mexican-American War, War of 1812, American Revolution and Civil War.
On Friday, the tribute will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. An opening ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., followed by the military customs and several speakers. The day will wrap up with “Taps” at 5 p.m.
On Saturday and Sunday, it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout each day, there will be military customs, various ceremonies and speakers. The Blue Dixieland Jazz Band will even perform from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The Cape fire and police departments will be on hand, as well as others.
“They’ll have their respective trucks and cars there,” she said, adding that the idea is to honor local uniformed men and women, as well as veterans and those serving. “There’s a lot of things happening.”
On Monday – its final day in the Cape – the exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It’s basically an area where we can pay respect and solace and reflection for our men and women serving everywhere – all wars,” Hollow said. “It’s just to bring awareness.”
She called the tribute’s visit an opportunity for everyone.
“It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Hollow said. “Many people will never have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C.”
The RE/MAX Realty Team is still looking for volunteers to help out with the exhibit. People are needed to put up and take down the wall, as well as watch over it from night to morning.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Yoselyn Hollow at (239) 242-2000.
For more information on the American Veterans Traveling Tribute or the AVTT’s Cost of Freedom Tribute, visit the organization’s website online at: www.avtt.org.
Jaycee Park is at 4125 S.E. 20th Place.
The RE/MAX Realty Team office is at 2326 S. Del Prado Blvd.