Also: Work is underway to create a national POW/MIA memorial in Jacksonville.
New veterans parking spaces to be dedicated
Flagler County will add additional veterans-only parking spaces at county facilities this week, Special Projects Manager Michael Esposito said at a County Commission meeting Nov. 4.
In addition to the two existing veterans-only parking spots at the county's Government Services Building on State Road 100, the county is adding one spot at the General Services Building, two at the county courthouse, two at the Emergency Operations Center and two at main Flagler County Library branch in Palm Coast.
County recognizes Veterans Week with proclamation
The Flagler County Commission recognized Veterans Week — Nov. 11-17 — with a proclamation at its Nov. 4 meeting.
County Commissioner Greg Hansen, a 27-year Navy veteran and Vietnam War veteran, read the proclamation, which noted that there are more than 11,633 veterans in Flagler County, of which approximately 875 are World War II veterans.
"Americans owe their undying gratitude to all those veterans who have sacrificed their health and in many cases paid the ultimate price in defense of freedom," Hansen said, reading the proclamation. "...The freedom that the children and grandchildren of those veterans now enjoy is a testament to the generations of patriots who have served our great country."
In 2018 and 2019, approximately 225 members of the Florida Army National Guard unit stationed at the Flagler County Executive Airport were deployed to the Middle East, Hansen said.
Speaking after the proclamation, Ernie Audino, retired Army brigadier general and current district director at the office of U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, added: "As you get around the world and you serve in some of these places – and some of the veterans that are here have done so — the blessings that we have in this country are made very, very clear. ... So the veterans, in a way, have an advantage — and it’s strange to put it that way, but I really do think it’s an advantage — of a foundation for the appreciation for what we have, and a commitment to do the best to secure those and promote those, not just for this great country but for all of humanity. … It’s a calling to serve; it's a commitment to serve a purpose much large than yourself — which, in life, is kind of what makes so many things worthwhile."
New POW/MIA Memorial and Museum proposed for Jacksonville
A new National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum is planned for Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Sam Houston, the chairman of the board for the National POW/MIA Memorial, told Flagler County Veterans Advisory Council members at the council's Nov. 4 meeting.
The city of Jacksonville donated 26 acres under a dollar-a-year lease to the 501c3 organization organizing the effort, and work on the site is ongoing. Construction of the memorial is expected within five years, and legislation is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives to grant the memorial federal designation.
The proposed memorial would include a 250-foot-long darkened hall that would display projections of the names of the more than 80,000 U.S. soldiers who are missing in action. As service members are found, their names would be etched in a gallery of light opposite the MIA hall.
Fundraising for the memorial is ongoing. To donate, go to powmiamemorial.org.
Veterans Week events:
Thursday, Nov. 7:
Flagler County Chamber of Commerce Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
8 a.m. registration, 8:30 a.m. presentation.
VFW Post 8696, 47 Old Kings Road N.
Tickets are $25 per person; attendees are asked to bring a veteran as a guest. Tables of eight are available for $180.
For information or to register, call 386-437-0106.
Sunday, Nov. 10:
Shepherd of the Coast Veterans Service and Luncheon
The Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church in Palm Coast will hold a special service honoring veterans on Nov. 10, the Sunday preceding Veterans Day. The guest speaker will be Chaplain Mark J. Schreiber, a retired Navy captain. A luncheon will follow the service.
The church is located at 101 Pine Lakes Parkway. The public is invited.
For more information, call 386-446-2481.
Monday, Nov. 11:
Flagler County Veterans Day Ceremony
Government Services Building, 1769 E. Moody Boulevard, Bunnell.
Flagler County residents are invited to gather with the Board of County Commissioners to honor the men and women who bravely served in the country’s military.
Guest speaker will be Ernest C. Audino, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (retired).
Multiple veterans organizations and community groups will be participating.
Palm Coast Veterans Day Celebration BBQ
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Central Park, 975 Central Avenue, Palm Coast.
The city of Palm Coast would like to honor veterans for their service. Join the city for a free BBQ lunch and live music with fellow veteran community members.
This is a ticketed event and you must pre-register with your veteran group.
For more information, call 386-986-2323.
City of Flagler Beach Veterans Day Celebration
Veterans Park, Flagler Beach, at the corner of State Road A1A and State Road 100.
Saturday, Nov. 16:
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Flagler County Executive Airport.
A full day of live music, war bird in flight parade, Killer B bomber plus static displays from the Vietnam and Work War II eras. Drone demonstrations, rides in a biplane, and a kids zone. Classic Car show with 100+ exhibitors. Firework Finale. Benefits Paws Of War, Flagler Education and other local charities.