The Village of Palmetto Bay celebrated its third annual Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m., at the entrance to Palmetto Bay Park, 17535 SW 95 Ave.
On a clear morning with perfect weather, village officials joined members of the Marlin Moore American Legion Post 133 and more than a dozen members of Boy Scout of America Troop 457 from Pinecrest in a special observance to honor military veterans past and present who have served their country.
Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Vice Mayor Brian Pariser and Councilmembers Joan Lindsay and Patrick Fiore attended. Mayor Stanczyk began the ceremony after the presentation of colors and the National Anthem.
“We know that these people and their families have suffered for their country, some giving the ultimate sacrifice, but we who benefit from that are here today to remember them,” Stanczyk said.
Pariser also addressed the group gathered for the ceremony.
“We are glad to have members from the Legion and Boy Scouts here to share the American experience,” Pariser said. “Liberty does not come free. It comes with a price, and our veterans who are here and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice can attest to that. We’ve just witnessed the American elections, and it’s an amazing thing that the United States and its Constitution stands for 235 years, I believe.”
Lou Lesinski, Commander of Post 133, along with Tom Frank, First Vice Commander; Bill James, Second Vice Commander, and members Louis Clark and Allen Chase, participated in the ceremony. Lesinski explained the significance of the event.
“Today we’re honoring all veterans, whether they’re active duty or retired, wherever they’re at, it’s their day so we should respect them and love them,” Lesinski said. “We try to be involved in the community as a community-based organization.”
Members of Troop 457 conducted the presentation of colors and the raising of the flag. The youngsters, ranging in age from 12 to 17, were Neal Simmons, Scott Simmons, Denali Grant, Joshua Grant, Daniel Crair, Brian DeAguiar, Mark DeAguiar, William Nuñez, Simon Stebbing, Brian Lopez, Brian Bibb, Derek Curth, John Truitt and Adam Stebbing.
Commander Gregory Truitt of the Palmetto Bay Policing Unit, who also is the Scoutmaster of Troop 457, took the microphone to speak as well.
“We’ve been honored to be asked by the Village of Palmetto Bay to assist in presenting the flag,” Truitt said. “I welcome the opportunity anytime our troop has a chance to give back. This troop is over a hundred Scouts strong and represents the fine youth that we have in Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest and other areas of south Dade. I’m very proud of these gentlemen.”
Village manager Ron Williams, a former Boy Scout, thanked the Scouts for attending as well as the park’s staff for setting things up.
“I want to thank everyone for coming today,” Stanczyk added. “And for sharing what democracy really means. It means there has been sacrifice for us to be able to enjoy the great benefits.”