“People often thank me for my service. You’re the ones we should be thanking. I’m only here because of you.” These very true and impactful words were spoken by Sarasota’s mayor, Erik Arroyo, during our Veteran’s Day Parade. He reminded us that the honoring and the celebrating should not stop when Veterans Day or holidays like it are over. The men and women who have served our country bravely should be honored every single day.
What was initially designed to be a small gathering of friends and families to celebrate the veterans that call Pines of Sarasota home, soon became a much larger event because of the outpour of generosity and support from our amazing community. In attendance were bikers, military students, mascots, police officers, firemen, local government officials, and the loved ones of our esteemed resident vets.
Leading the charge, a dozen or more riders from the Post 25 American Legion came riding up on their motorcycles & wearing their leathers signaling that the parade was beginning. The sound of the roar from their bikes gave the whole gathering a zap of energy and excitement. The men and women from the post later stood alongside our resident veterans and cheered them on as they were honored for their service.
The Sarasota Military Academy choir marched through our campus before congregating under the Pavilion to sing each military song honoring each branch of our amazing military. They then shook hands and saluted many of our veterans.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Sarasota Police and Fire Departments. The Baltimore Orioles sent Bird, their larger-than-life mascot, to greet our residents as well.
Rounding out the event, our veterans were saluted and presented with a certificate of appreciation for their service to our country. Many family members looked on as mothers and fathers rose from their chairs – for some, not without difficulty – and accepted this honor.
Countless veterans have come through the facilities at Pines of Sarasota, and it was an honor to acknowledge the men and women that reside here today.