The Village of Palmetto Bay and American Legion Marlin Moore Post No. 133 have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Veterans Park and Gold Star Family Memorial Monument to take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m.
The Veterans Park will be located at 16165 S. Dixie Hwy., behind South Motors, which donated the three acres there along with a stipend as the result of an arrangement with the village.
Preceding the ceremony, members of Post 133, guests from American Legion District 14 Command and invited Gold Star Family members will gather at Post 133, 16401 SW 90 Ave., and then parade to the site.
Paul D. Amato, the Adjutant/PIO/Liaison of Post 133, explained about the ceremony and its special guest and honored speaker, Hershel Woodrow (Woody) Williams.
“The Post is active in our Palmetto Bay Veterans Park Advisory Committee and we hope our entire South Florida Community will pitch in toward making our Veterans Park and Gold Star Family Memorial Monument the best that it can be,” Amato said. “Hershel Woodrow ‘Woody’ Williams, the very last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima, is planning to attend the groundbreaking to present his Foundation’s $5,000 check toward the Gold Star Family Memorial.
“Mr. Williams not only cleared the way for his fellow Marines to raise ‘Old Glory’ over Mount Suribachi in February 1945, but has dedicated his life to ensure the families of those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms are honored and their patriot loved ones will never be forgotten.”
A Gold Star Family is one with a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who sacrificed his or her life in the service of the nation. The Gold Star Family Memorial was created by Hershel “Woody’ Williams.
“The Village of Palmetto Bay and the American Legion Marlin Moore Post 133 cordially invite all Gold Star Mothers and Families of South Florida to be our guests at the groundbreaking ceremony,” Amato said. “Please join us for this very special occasion.”
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Councilmember Tim Schaffer, who is the liaison with Post 133, said he was pleased with the way things resulted.
“I knew that creating a Veterans Park to commemorate our heroes from past and present was the least that we could do,” Councilmember Schaffer said. “Our village veterans collaborated with the American Legion to start the planning process and we are finally ready to break ground! This is just the beginning of some of the great things that will take place in this park whose sole purpose is to honor all of our veterans throughout the entire history of this great country.”
Mayor Eugene Flinn said he is proud of the park project and appreciative of the work that went into creating it.
“Our Hero’s Park will be a welcome addition to our parks system,” Mayor Flinn said.“This park will recognize those who served, especially those who sacrificed all to protect our freedoms. This passive, reflective park will properly honor our veterans. It is fitting that they have their own place in the Village of Parks. Thank you, South Motors, for working with us on this project.”