By Randall Townsend
In Honor of Captain Ralph Styles (a Decorated WWII Submarine Captain in the Pacific Theater), who began our Tribute Ceremonies approximately 30 years ago.
Each Sunset, our community comes together with new friends from around the world on Siesta Key at 10 Beach Road as we say: “Welcome to Patriots Pier at Sunset Point! We thank you for joining our nightly tribute to honor the sacrifices of our military and service personnel and first responders in protecting our country and our freedoms! We are the land of the free because of the brave!”
This Month our Special Veteran’s Day Sunset Ceremony this year was delayed from 11/11 until 11/14 because of an unexpected guest—Hurricane Eta that surprised many with her rapid formation in the Gulf.
Few dared attending the ceremony on 11/11, because Eta’s storm line was arriving at about the same time. However, this experience served as a little reminder little reminder that the WWII landing on Normandy Beach was like on June 6, 1944.
Reports say the weather also changed rapidly that early morning. The conditions contributed to many soldiers drowning as the 6300+ boats could not get closer to the shores! However, despite the bad weather, historians say the weather that day also helped serve as a cover for the Allied Forces and helped surprise the Nazi’s in the Allied invasion crossing the English Channel to Normandy Beaches.
So, as we remember and honor those that served in our 12 major conflicts: 41,892,128 service men and women; 21,800,000 living veterans; 14,302,290 wounded veterans; 1,190,085 dead.
We also paused in a moment of silence to ask for peace and for safety for our first responders in “The Longest War”—our patriots daily combat on terror, greed, fraud, and corruption from bad hearts!
We also paused and honored Navy Chief Petty Officer Merlin Allshouse from Michigan as called out by his daughter, Teri Gadd (in red) and her family for his 20 years of service in the Navy. The family was presented Our Patriots Pier Flag that we retired 11/11/2020 during the Hurricane Eta.
You can watch each Ceremony with us at “Patriots Pier at Sunset Point” or see us on Facebook and Instagram at “Patriots Pier at Sunset Point”.
We are land of the free because of the brave!
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