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Appreciation for our Veterans and Their Families

On November 11, we gathered to celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the good of their fellow Americans and the freedoms

we hold dear.

The City’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park was virtual, but there were many in-person events across our City and community. It was a privilege to attend Ballantrae’s flag raising

ceremony first thing that morning and, a little later, a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker Dedication Ceremony, at which the St. Lucie West Garden Club presented our community with a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on the Crosstown Parkway.

On behalf of our five-person City Council, 1,100 employees and more than 201,000 residents, I would like to again offer our special thanks and appreciation to our veterans and their families for their service. I would also like to thank anyone who took the time and made the effort to attend a Veterans Day event or to otherwise celebrate our veterans; to thank the United Veterans of Port St. Lucie and our community’s veterans groups for all of their hard work to produce our veterans ceremonies and for their hard work on veterans issues yearround; and to thank our City staff and the County’s Veterans Services

Office for their efforts to serve and support our veterans.

As you may know, in 1954, following the Congressional Act to rename Armistice Day to Veterans Day, President Eisenhower wrote a proclamation stating, in part: …let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

Port St. Lucie, let us heed President Eisenhower’s words. Let us remember the sacrifices of our brave service men and women, but in addition to remembering our veterans on Veterans Day, let us remember them every day. Let us remember; but, more than that, let us also act. Let us take the initiative to help a veteran, hire a veteran or even just talk to a veteran.

Here in the City of Port St. Lucie, we are proud to be a hometown for veterans or as we like to call it, a hometown for heroes, and we are lucky to have community groups and citizens like you, the members of the St. Lucie West Garden Club, the residents of Ballantrae and so many others, who always seem to be working on the next improvement, the next way to show how much we appreciate our veterans. Past improvements are all around us—the Korean War monument that was added earlier this year; the Gold

Star Memorial before that; the Blue Star Memorial on Veterans Memorial Parkway; the Ardie R. Copas Veterans Nursing Home; the fun and beautifully themed utility box wraps along Veterans Memorial Parkway, where each branch of service is represented; and, now, a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on the Crosstown Parkway. And, I am excited to share that more improvements and opportunities are already in the works, including a home giveaway and a chance to plan the expansion, or enhancement, of Veterans Memorial Park as part of a master planning process for the City’s “Port District,” formerly known as “Riverwalk.”

If you know any local Gold Star families and veterans who are interested in realizing the American Dream of homeownership, please let them know that one of our local homebuilders, Synergy Homes, will be breaking ground on a beautiful new home next month, and, with the City’s help, Synergy Homes wants to give that home to a Gold Star family or veteran. Please stay tuned to the City’s webpage for a formal announcement, but I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you seized the initiative by calling Carmen

Capezzuto in our Neighborhood Services Department for more information. Thank you, Synergy Homes!

Additionally, in the coming months, the City will embark on a community-driven process to master plan our Port District, our waterfront district that spans from Pioneer Park just south of the Botanical Gardens all the way to Lyngate Park on Veterans Memorial Parkway, including Veterans Park. This master planning process will be a golden opportunity to ask ourselves how we might make our beautiful Veterans Park, even better. Should we expand it? Should we add a Veterans Hall for indoor events, meetings and exhibits? Help us decide. Help us find the best way we can to honor and celebrate our veterans.

As these past and future examples suggest, there are countless ways for us to honor and help our veterans and I encourage you to find the one that is closest to your heart.

In closing, I want to circle back to President Eisenhower’s thoughts of “reconsecrating ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.” Here, I would ask that we not just promote an enduring peace abroad but realize that peace begins at home with how we treat one another, that the blood, sweat, tears and lives of our veterans were not just for our heritage of freedom but also so that we, the citizens, could become our best selves, or in the words of our Army, be all that we can be.

To our veterans and their families, we thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Our grateful community honors you on Veterans Day, today, and every day.

May God bless our veterans, may God bless Port St. Lucie and may God continue to bless America.

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