By Alayne Yeash….
The City welcomed veterans, their families, and friends to the City’s Heritage Park for a celebration at 10:00 am on Friday, November 11, 2011. The names were on the wall and the weather cooperated. It was a beautiful day to honor the U.S. Military Veterans who live or have lived in Sunny Isles Beach with more than 150 people in attendance.
The Sunny Isles Beach Police Honor Guard presented the colors and Chief Fred Maas led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. Mayor Norman S. Edelcup opened the presentation by summarizing the reason the crowd was gathered and talking about the Commission’s efforts which made the wall and the park possible. He extended his good wishes to all, thanking them for attending the first annual celebration for our City’s veterans.
Third graders from Ms. Caryn Snyder’s class at the Norman S. Edelcup SIB K-8 displayed boxes that each student had decorated and filled with essentials and goodies for our active duty military. Their teacher stated that she wanted the children to know why they were off from school on November 11 every year. The class also wrote original poems and read them as a thank you to all our military branches at home and abroad. The Chief facilitated the third grade presentation as the children came up one by one to read. The children seemed to have a grasp of what this day meant to so many in our country.
Former Commissioner Gerry Goodman spoke about our Veterans sacrifices and the necessity of our country to take care of those men and women throughout their lives, especially the wounded and disabled military personnel. He urged the crowd to visit their local VA Hospital and volunteer to brighten someone’s day. He then read the names of all the Veterans who were placed on the wall at our Heritage Park opening on June 18 this year and then read the names added for this November 11th Veterans Day Celebration.
When the ceremony ended many veterans took the opportunity to snap pictures of their engraved names and their families at the wall. Participants gathered at the pavilion for food and fellowship, lingering to talk to those they knew and making new friends too.
Anyone wishing to be added to the U.S. Military Veterans Wall next November 11th should complete an application and return before September 1, 2012. The form is available on www.sibfl.net or at the Government Center 4th floor reception area. Please bring proof of residency such as your SIB Resident ID or a utility bill and your proof of Honorable Military Discharge.