NAPLES SPIRIT OF 45 WEEKEND TRIBUTE Fanning the Flames of The Sacred Fire of Liberty

Lois Bolin Old Naples Historian

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

George Washington, first inaugural address, April 30, 1789.

The idea of liberty and the republican model of government began in Rome and were solidly linked two thousand years later at George Washington’s inauguration, when he endorsed the “sacred” experiment of the American people. The Declaration of Independence, written a century and a half after the colony of Virginia was first established in 1607, gave several generations of Colonist a taste of freedom -freedom that was threatened with new British laws and taxes. Yet, the “sacred fire of liberty”, seared into their souls, launched the idea of national sovereignty and a declaration of independence for the 13 British colonies.

WWII: Will the Sacred Fire Last?

It is the 78th anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms Speech.” It outlined the essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression; freedom to worship God in our own way; freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Eleven months later those freedoms were challenged and four and half years later, on August14, 1945, when Truman announced that WWII was over, Americans rejoiced knowing those freedoms were in tact – our American Experiment had been preserved.

Two hundred and forty-two years after the Declaration of Independence and two hundred and twenty-nine years after the Constitution was ratified, SWFL Veterans Alliance will again honor these “guardians of the sacred fire of liberty” with the Spirit of 45 Weekend Tribute with the 9th Annual Greatest Generation & Beyond Breakfast and Taps Across America.

9th Annual Thank

You On August 11th, at the Naples Hilton some 320 plus veterans, sponsors and volunteers will come together to acknowledge a generation who survived the Great Depression, defeated the greatest tyranny the world has ever known then rebuilt a shattered world at home and in the lands of their former enemies.

Veterans will receive paracord bracelets courtesy of the The Latchkey Kids and Purple Heart Tribute bracelets from A. Jaron Fine Jewelry. Along the way, they will stop for photos at the Patriot Booth, the Supervisor of Election’s Vote in Honor of a Veteran booth, a Purple Heart exhibit, and the 16-foot Patriot Wall created by Melinda Clark.

This year’s program will feature soloists Tess Cornus and Marine Corps Veteran, Daniel Melvin along with special entertainment by Dancing Feat, Freedom Kids and Magic by Special Forces Veteran, Brian Boyd. The national anthem will be sung acapella by Nathan and Hanna Watt, children of USAF Veteran, Diana Watt and Miss Maddie Rigsby, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

After the close of the program, Veterans will come to the stage for their group photo, compliments of fine arts photographer, Heather Cornus, and depart with pride along with an Oakes Farm Market Victory Garden Bag and autographed watercolor of the American Flag by Steven Souder.

On August 12th (2nd Sunday in August), the official day honoring the ending of WWII, the 9th Annual Taps Across America at Lowdermilk will continue with is traditional sunset ceremony of music, USSVI Submarine, Garrison flag unfolding, wreath at sea, Taps played on the beach with a patriotic flyover followed by Royal Scoop Ice Cream at Berkshire Place Ice Cream Social and Sage Catering Spirit cookies.

Patriotic Alliances

As George Washington said, “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?” We concur; so, do our Alliance members: Collier County Veterans Council; Gulf Coast Veterans & Friends; Gold and Blue Star Mothers; VFW 7721 and its Auxiliary; MCL of Naples; USSIV Naples Base; Collier JROTC; Latchkey Kids; Flotilla Base 93; Naples Vet Center and more.

We are so proud to work these groups because the “preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government, is entrusted…” into all of our hands.

Reservations are required for the Greatest Generation Breakfast. Contact Lois Bolin at 239.777.2281. NO RSVP is required for Taps Across America. For more information, contact USAF Veteran, Dr. J.B. Holmes or Army Veteran, Dusty Holmes at 239.304.5258.

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