South Hillsborough, from Riverview to Sun City Center and Ruskin, stood up to honor and respect our nation’s veterans over the weekend.
Veterans Day kicked off early last week. On Saturday the annual Ruskin VFW Veterans Day Parade was held down U.S. Highway 41. Boy and Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies and high school bands and JROTC units from the South County Career Center to Brandon High School walked the route, many passing out beads and candy to the hundreds of people who lined the parade route. One young scout from Troop 661, Ruskin / Apollo Beach, was on a mission and he worked to complete it. Although often falling behind his troop during the parade, he was intent on ensuring that each child along the parade route received a piece of candy. His dedication spoke volumes, particularly on a day devoted to those who dedicated themselves.
This year’s parade appeared bigger than ever, with businesses, organizations from around the region and numerous Gasparilla Krewes taking part in the celebration of heroes.
On Monday in Sun City Center, the combined military veterans organizations held their annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Community Association Community Hall. Lt. Commander Paul Wheat, US Army (Ret) provided the welcome and introduction and the East Bay High School JROTC served as the color guard. The guest speaker was newspaper columnist Steve Otto.
On Monday morning at Serenity Meadows on 6919 Providence Road in Riverview, a ceremony was held to show support and pay tribute to the nation’s veterans, both past and active duty. The event included music, a flag ceremony and guest speakers from MacDill Air Force Base.
Last week, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce sponsored their annual Veterans Day Tribute at Vets Memorial Park on U.S. Highway 301 in Tampa. The Vice Commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, Col. Andre J. Briere, was the keynote speaker for the event, which also included a JROTC color guard.
Veterans Day, November 11, is the anniversary of the armistice between the Allied Nations and Germany, ending World War I in 1918. The name of the day was changed to Veterans Day by an act of Congress in 1954. That year, President Dwight Eisenhower called on all Americans to observe the day by remembering all those who fought for this nation. The President referred to the name Veterans Day to honor those who have served in all of the nation’s wars.