Veterans Day at the Park
- November 15, 2015
- / Chris Kazakos
- / Post Tags
On the 11thhour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 2015, people across the U.S. and abroad gathered to celebrate those who have served and sacrificed for our country. The Pensacola community was no different as the 2015 Veterans Day ceremony began, at that moment, with 11 chimes from the Marine Corps Bell Tower at the Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Pensacola.
"As a veteran I’ve lived in many places and I can say that this community celebrates and values our veterans as well as anybody,” said Butch Hansen, President of the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation. "That’s more important than you realize, and not from a personal standpoint, or an economic or tourism standpoint, but from the prospective of our long term security and prosperity.”
The community didn’t disappoint, as a big crowd turned up for the parade, ceremony and celebration at the park.
"I believe the greater Pensacola community demonstrates genuine appreciation as manifested by the support shown for this park and its mission and the active service members and veterans in our community, and I thank you,” said Hansen.
The guest speaker was Pensacola area resident and lauded Navy Veteran, Rear Adm. Donald Quinn.
"We need celebrations like this to remember, to teach,” said Quinn. "In 2014; the year in which we experienced two active conflicts, emotional debates on the compensation of our all-volunteer force, growing chaos in the Middle East, uncertainty, protests and additional combat causalities; nearly 245,000 of our young men and women quietly signed up to serve with little fanfare or recognition. They get it. They understand what we have is worth defending. They understand what it means to be an American.”
In addition to the usual staples of a Veterans Day ceremony was the dedication and unveiling of a new monument at the park sponsored by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association: a granite bench to honor combat veterans past, present and future.
Also, two plaques were added to the Global War on Terror monument to honor local fallen veterans, Staff Sgt. Forrest Sibley and Senior Airman Nathan Sartain.