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Annual Veterans Day Ceremony to honor those who served

November 7, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The public will have the opportunity to recognize America's military veterans on Sunday.

Hosted by the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and the city of Sanibel, the Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will take place on Nov. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the City Hall. The program will feature patriotic music, a guest speaker, sharing of stories and more.

Fred Bondurant, a past chapter president of the MOAA chapter who will officiate the ceremony, explained that the event has been organized for the island community for more than 10 years.

Article Photos

Sanibel’s Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts enter the grounds for the flag raising at last year's Annual Veterans Day Ceremony, with the BIG ARTS Concert Band pictured behind them.

"It's to honor the veterans and call attention to the military," he said.

Bondurant added that it typically draws 200 or so attendees.

The BIG ARTS Concert Band will kick off the ceremony with about 30 minutes of music.

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"Then we'll have a couple of short opening remarks," he said.

Boy Scouts Troop and Cub Scouts Pack 1740 will present the colors.

"We have the flag-raising ceremony," Bondurant said.

Fact Box

If you go


Annual Veterans Day Ceremony


Nov. 11, Veterans Day, from 10:30 a.m. to noon


Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Road


Free and open to the public

The Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation delivered by Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs, of the Bat Yam Temple of the Islands, will follow. Mayor Kevin Ruane and other dignitaries are normally present.

"They're usually there," he said of city council. "Often, the mayor will make a few remarks."

Each year, the chapter picks a special guest speaker. This year it is Michael Macray, who will speak about the World War 1 Armistice Agreement, which occurred 100 years ago - on Nov. 11, 1918.

"And how it affected the ensuing peace," Bondurant said.

One year a POW was the guest speaker, and another year it was a rabbi.

"I try to get somebody who's interesting," he said.

The chapter also tries to select a Sanibel veteran to honor.

Bondurant explained that the tradition began with Francis Bailey. Another year, the ceremony recognized the only island-raised person to die in the Vietnam War. This year's honoree will be Natural Resources Department Director James Evans, who served nearly nine years in the U.S. Army.

The winners of an annual essay contest through the Sanibel Recreation Center's after-school program are recognized. One boy and one girl are chosen, and each earn $100 from the Bank of the Islands.

"They get a check," he said.

The program also includes a sing-a-long of service hymns.

Bondurant noted that one of the highlights of the event is the Remembrances portion, a chance when veterans recall and share their military experiences and how they and others were affected by them.

"We have a fellow out in the audience with a microphone," he said. "They'll tell a little story."

Any veteran who wishes to participate is welcome to do so.

Billy's Rentals will provide water for attendees, and parking is available on site.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to come out.

"It's shows support for the veterans," Bondurant said. "It's the 100th anniversary."

Other island activities planned in honor of Veterans Day will include:


The Sanibel School will hold its annual Veterans Day assembly and music program on Nov. 9 at 8:05 a.m. in the cafetorium, at 3840 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. The Seahorse Chorale, elementary choir, and fourth- and fifth-grade classes will present the music program. Families, along with veterans and actively serving military members, are invited to attend.


On Nov. 11, admission will be lifted for Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding "Darling" National Wildlife Refuge, at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel. Hikers, cyclists and motorists will be free from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For more about the Annual Veterans Day Ceremony, email

The Sanibel City Hall is at 800 Dunlop Road.



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