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Safety Harbor Celebrates Veterans Day

City officials, veterans and citizens gathered for a special ceremony at 11:11am on 11/11/2012 in honor of the military holiday.

Mayor Andy Steingold, city commissioners, members of Safety Harbor VFW and American Legion posts and others gathered at Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday morning for a special ceremony to honor Veterans Day.

With the Veterans Boat Show With a Twist of Parrot serving as a backdrop at the marina, hundreds of people were on hand for the event, which included a bagpipe band, distinguished speakers, and a 21-gun salute.

"On this day we honor veterans...and the families of veterans who have served our country with honor," Mayor Steingold told the assembled crowd.

"We say thank you, God bless you, and God bless America."

Safety Harbor's own Dr. Allen Hayes, the national vice chair for the Veterans Party of America, gave a stirring speech, reminding everyone that a large percentage of America's homeless are veterans.

"It is tragic that many people who allow us to be safe in our own homes are often homeless themselves when they shed their uniforms," Hayes said, citing a study that states 23% of all homeless people are veterans.

"Today we honor them, tomorrow we support them."

Following a speech from Kristen Sellas, a representative from Congressman Gus Bilirakis' office, Taps was played while everyone either saluted or bowed their heads in prayer.

Afterwards, Mayor Steingold praised those who were in attendance, but he also admitted he'd like to see more non-vets attend these ceremonies.

"I encourage people to come out and support those who laid their lives on the line for our country, whether they served or did not serve," Steingold said. "This is about America."

The ceremony also featured a flyover and a traditional wreath tossing, where members of the VFW and American Legion posts threw a wreath into the bay to honor the memory of lost veterans.

Jason Bartolone November 12, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Patch salutes our veterans!

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