Guest Post: A homespun Christmas honors service of veterans

Guest Post: A homespun Christmas honors service of veterans

Posted on December 06, 2013 by Cathy Slusser

Editor's note: The Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum are partners of the Legacy of Valor, a campaign to honor veterans and their families, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom throughout Southwest Florida.

In the middle of World War II, Bing Crosby recorded a simple Christmas song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” that reflected the thoughts of a soldier far away from home during the holiday season.  Upon its release in the fall of 1943, the song immediately struck a chord with both soldiers and civilians, earning Crosby his fifth gold record and becoming the most requested song at USO shows. It was said that Crosby and the song did more for GI morale than anyone or anything else of that time.   

The homespun images that Crosby crooned about to those long ago soldiers will be recreated during Palmetto’s Christmas in the Park held at the Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum at 515 10th Ave. West in Palmetto, Florida. 

As partners of the Legacy of Valor campaign, these events honor the service and sacrifice of  veterans and their families.

On Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 5:00 – 9:00 PM, revisit Christmas during the years of World War II and focus on the sacrifices our military men and women make for us at the holiday season and throughout the year. 

The event has a 1940s theme and the historical park’s buildings will be decorated in a variety of styles including several patriotic trees. Opportunities will be available to honor someone who has served or is serving in a branch of our nation’s Armed Forces or to send a card or letter to soldiers currently on active duty.  “Ration Recipes” from wartime cookbooks can be collected in each building.  Each night, Santa himself will be arriving by fire truck at 6:00 PM accompanied by a local veteran. Bring your own camera for a photo with Santa.

This event is offered at no charge and is open to the public.

As Bing Crosby implied, “Come home for Christmas.”  Join us at the Palmetto Historical Park and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum as we honor our veterans and their Legacy of Valor.  For more information, call 721-2034.

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