Key West will celebrate Veterans Day with a parade, scheduled to start Wednesday at Duval and United Streets at 4 p.m. The parade will finish at Greene and Duval Streets. After the parade, at 5:30 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Key West will host a sunset bagpipe concert and open house on the front lawn of the sector’s office building at Trumbo Point. The event will include a 30-minute performance by the Nassau County Police Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band and tours of Coast Guard boats and cutters.
The event, a token of the Coast Guard’s appreciation for the support and friendship shown by members of local community organizations such as the Military Affairs Committee, Navy League and Rotary, will be an opportunity
to meet military personnel from Key West units. Access to the Coast Guard base that evening will only be through the Grinnell Street gate (Trumbo Point Road by the School District Offices). To attend, RSVP by going to www.callamagazine.com/invite.asp?pick=aONIteRDtjEF277,8757.
Americans have celebrated Veterans Day in honor of all past and present military veterans since 1954. Before 1954, Americans called Nov. 11 Armistice Day in commemoration of the armistice that ended fighting in World War I. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site, “…in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word ‘Armistice’ and inserting in its place the word ‘Veterans.’” In a Veterans Day presidential proclamation issued Monday, President Barack Obama called upon Americans to support the day by participating in patriotic activities in their communities. “On Veterans Day, we honor the heroes we have lost, and we rededicate ourselves to the next generation of veterans by supporting our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen as they return home from duty,” said Obama. “Our grateful nation must keep our solemn promises to these brave men and women and their families. They have given their unwavering devotion to the American people, and we must keep our covenant with them.” Around the country, many towns and cities honor veterans with parades and ceremonies, but the ceremony held at the Arlington National Cemetery is considered to be the nation’s official ceremony.
The Annual National Veterans Day Observance will take place in the National Amphitheater at the cemetery, is sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and begins at 11 a.m. For more information on Veterans Day, go to www.va.gov/vetsday.
LTJG Matthew Meinhold
USCG Sector Key West
100 Trumbo Road
Key West, FL 33040