Patriot Plaza

So Many Ways to Experience Patriot Plaza

Posted on October 31, 2018 by Sandra Beckley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

Do you wonder why Patriot Plaza, located in the heart of Sarasota National Cemetery is sometimes called an outdoor museum? Or why Sarasota National Cemetery is often ranked #1 on Trip Advisor’s must-see places to visit in Sarasota?

Sarasota National Cemetery (SNC) is one of 136 national shrines managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration (NCA) where honorably discharged veterans and their immediate family members are interred.

The Patterson Foundation designed, built, and donated Patriot Plaza — a 2800 seat amphitheater with $2 million of commissioned art — to SNC as a place to Honor Veterans, Inspire Patriotism, and Embrace Freedom. Patriot Plaza is timeless — honoring veterans from the past, those currently serving, and future veterans.

Patriot Plaza has been open and available to the public since June 2014. During the last four years, nearly 50,000 people have attended events, including Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Wreaths Across America or have participated in tours — school, public or private — led by trained volunteer Patriot Plaza Guides.

military at patriot plazaThere have been upwards of 100 scheduled private group tours by these types of entities:
  • Civic Organizations
  • Faith-Based Groups
  • Neighborhood Groups
  • School Related Gatherings
  • Veteran Organizations
  • Family Gatherings (tours can be accommodated if scheduling permits after memorial services)

Patriot Plaza tours offer an alternative to your typical indoor meeting, giving your group or organization some fresh air and an opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice of all veterans. Patriot Plaza, a gift to the Nation and our community, has three primary missions: Honoring Veterans, Inspiring Patriotism and Embracing Freedom. Beyond that, it highlights Sarasota National Cemetery as a national shrine and final resting place for those who honorably serve our nation and their family members, and acts as an educational tool on service and sacrifice for students and the general public.

Patriot Plaza is open every day during daylight hours and admission is FREE. Weekly tours are led by trained Guides every Tuesday at 10 a.m. (except for holidays). To schedule a private tour contact the Sarasota Arts Alliance at or call 941-365-5118 x 301.

People who adventure to Patriot Plaza often get goosebumps or need a tissue as a result of experiencing the setting and its art. We invite you to visit, take visitors, attend one of the free public events or stop by after the memorial service of someone who has selected Sarasota National Cemetery for their eternal resting place.

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