Patriot Plaza—Onward to the Next Ten Years

Patriot Plaza—Onward to the Next Ten Years

Posted on April 02, 2024 by Victoria Finley, Patriot Plaza Initiative

Patriot Plaza—the gentle place thousands have enjoyed over the last ten years—now moves onward to the next decade of its peaceful presence in our community, resting in the heart of Sarasota National Cemetery.

I thought the Quotes from the Heart of Patriot Plaza, read by Maverick Johnson at the Plaza’s tenth-anniversary celebration on March 2, 2024, captured the sentiments of many who have visited Patriot Plaza.

Here’s one that found my heart: “One visit to the Plaza was not enough. I came back for a guided tour, and I watched the virtual tour online. It was as if I needed to spend some intentional time reflecting on my country–America–and how blessed I am to be an American. I’ll take the good, the bad, and the ugly–this country is still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Patriot Plaza will continue to honor veterans, inspire patriotism, and embrace freedom. To ensure its longevity, the Governing Board has meticulously endowed its capital maintenance. Additionally, a partnership has been established with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, nurturing a community of dedicated individuals who adeptly narrate the Plaza's rich history and significance."

It’s a monumental task but one seen as worthwhile and valuable, especially for the kids. As one Patriot Plaza tour guide shared, “When the school kids come to Patriot Plaza–well, those are my favorite tours! I feel like I become a bridge over our country’s decades of military history–sharing with these little ones the importance of knowing and respecting our military servicemen and women and their families.

For so many of these kids, Patriot Plaza’s artwork may be their only tangible connection with America’s military history. These kids–many of whom have no immediate family member serving in the military or even a veteran in their family–but at Patriot Plaza–for an hour of their young lives–they absorb through art how this country and our freedom have been won and protected. These moments never fail to move me with honor, dignity, and gratitude.”

Over the next ten years, thousands more will come—people of all ages—to experience this majestic world-class outdoor American military museum called Patriot Plaza. They will share new moments of time—some together with others, but, most often, solitary in their thoughts. Many will walk away from Patriot Plaza reflective about the heart of this country from the perspective of respect and gratitude as expressed in the Plaza’s artwork. I, for one, give thanks with sincerity to my countrymen and women who were and are willing to say, “Here am I, send me.” They have done and continue to do this for me and for my children’s children. For their sacrifices, I hope and pray this country continues to stand as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

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