A ceremony with a special tribute to Vietnam veterans will take place today at Anastasia Baptist Church, 1650 A1A South in St. Augustine. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. this morning and the program will begin at 11:00 a.m.
The keynote speaker will be Silver Star recipient Dr. Hal Kushner, a retired U.S. Army colonel. Kushner went to Vietnam in 1967 as an Army flight surgeon. He was captured after a helicopter crash and was held as a prisoner of war until 1973, according to an announcement from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
“The theme of our program this year is honoring the Vietnam veterans,” said Bill Dudley, chair of the Veterans Council of St. Johns County. The non-profit organization is co-hosting the event together with the Ancient City Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.
A traveling Vietnam wall and a global war on terrorism wall will be at the church for viewing.
Remembering Confederate Veterans
Residents and tourists can visit the Trout Creek Memorial Park located at 6550 SR-13 North throughout the day for free admission. The 141-year-old veterans memorial that once stood in the Plaza de la Constitution in downtown St Augustine, honors 46-individual, local soldiers who died during the American Civil War and whose bodies were never returned home for burial.
Later this evening at 7:00 p.m., Trinity Parish Church at 215 St. George Street in St. Augustine will host “an evening of patriotic songs and hymns of praise” called Celebrate America. Admission is free, and some parking will be available on the street and in the church parking lot.
Free admission to parks
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is offering free admission to Florida State Parks for all visitors on Veterans Day. The National Park Service is offering free admission to all national parks sites including the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Veterans Day is the last “free admission” day of the year for the public. However, with the Interagency Military Pass, veterans, active-duty military, and Gold Star families, can get free admission all year.