Editor's Note: Robert Carter is President and CEO of Senior Friendship Centers, a Legacy of Valor partner.
When we began to plan for a Tribute to Veterans as part of Legacy of Valor, we were encouraged to think big.
We wanted to honor those who have so bravely served our country, not with just the standard ceremonial flag waving, patriotic music and traditional salutes. We wanted to do something really special, something that would show our community the pride we all feel for our veterans in a weeklong tribute that would touch people’s hearts, educate and inspire them in a way that would forever show the contributions of the brave men and women who have served and fought for our country.
We came up with more than 20 displays, events, programs and exhibits that bring home the message of freedom, courage and valor manifested by those who have served.
The Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall, that great monument symbolizing the pain, the courage, and the loss of those who died or were missing in action during the Vietnam War, will be on display throughout the week on Nov.11-15 in Luke Wood Park, where the Sarasota Senior Friendship Campus is located.
Those who are not able to travel to Washington to see the original monument will be able to see the wall where the names of their friends and loved ones are inscribed. The park will also be the site of a WWII camp reenactment.
African American contributions to our military will be showcased in the Red Tail Squadron traveling theatre exhibit at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, featuring the original film RISE ABOVE, highlighting the bravery of the Tuskegee Airmen on a 160-degree panoramic screen.
From the famous “Fly Girls” – the first women in history to fly American military aircraft – to photos Through the Eyes of a Soldier to Portraits of Serivce and exhibits of uniforms, military vehicles, aircraft miniatures and more, Senior Friendship Centers campuses will spotlight what military men and women have done to ensure our freedom.
Capping it all off will be a Swing Canteen, complete with USO style entertainment, on Saturday, Nov. 16, in conjunction with the Legacy-of-Valor-themed Chalk Festival in downtown Sarasota.
These is just a peek at Senior Friendship Centers’ piece in the mosaic of community driven partnerships that is the Legacy of Valor campaign. Please join us, take advantage of this opportunity to honor and celebrate those who have given so much for our country.
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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