Meaning Matters by Lois Bolin, Ph.D., Old Naples Historian

There is nothing more powerful than having meaning in one’s life. Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist who endured the Auschwitz death camp during World War II, said that one should not search for an abstract meaning of life; it must ensue as a side-effect of pursuing other goals.

Lois Bolin

In 2014, SWFL Veterans Alliance Inc. (501C3) was established. After the 2021 pandemic, the  community and country re-evaluated their lives and goals. SWFLVA adjusted their sights: to serve as a connector to our community through collaboration. This past July, Faith Lutheran Church asked SWFLVA if we would be their mission of the month, and we knew we wanted to collaborate with Southwest Florida meaning makers like The VFW 7721 Auxiliary and The Robert L. Zore Foundation.

The Robert L. Zore Foundation is a non-profit that supports the families of Southwest Florida fallen police officers as well as active military and veterans. One of their key projects is to provide academic scholarships for students whose family member is a first responder, veteran or a student who desires to become a first responder or move into the field of criminal justice, law, or public safety. On Peace Officer Memorial Day, the Foundation distributed 25 $1,500 scholarships in the name of fallen officers in Collier and Lee counties.

Officer Zore was killed Christmas Day 1983 when his daughter, Rosemary, was 7 years old. This quote from Metro-Dade Memorial Page which shows the power of purpose mixed with the power of love: Rest in peace Detective Zore. Yesterday, I visited your grave at Woodlawn Park South… A handsome and brave young man taken too soon… Both you and your wife raised a fine and upstanding daughter in Rosemary who started a foundation in your blessed and heroic name, an angel soaring higher each second. Indeed, she is.

Several organizations the Foundation has supported are Lee County Sheriff ’s Memorial, Collier 100 Club, Tunnels to Towers Foundation, Miami Police Officer Assistance Trust, and Home Front Heroes (Contact:

VFW Auxiliary 7721: The VFW Auxiliary is one of the nation’s oldest veterans’ service organizations and their members are the relatives of those who have served in overseas combat. One of their key projects is Voice of Democracy. More than 50,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.3 million in educational scholarships awarded through the Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college, or vocational/technical school. (So let your children and grandchildren know.)

Another scholarship program the Auxiliary Post 7721 supports encourages youthful minds to examine our nation’s history and their own experiences in modern American society through the Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest for students’ 6th – 8th grade. (For more information, write to

SWFL VA: For the past 10 years, SWFL Veterans Alliance has supported numerous local veteran groups and law enforcement organizations. Filming the City’s Christmas Parade for those who cannot attend in person has always been so meaningful and it was doubly impactful in 2022 after we co-hosted the ready response resource site for families impacted after Hurricane Ian.

Meaning Matters Feeling that your life has meaning is fundamental to the experience of being human. Meaning in life typically incorporates three themes: the belief that your contributions matter to others and yourself, the feeling that your life makes sense, and the feeling that you are actively pursuing fulfilling goals. These two amazing support systems for our Veterans and Law Enforcement Officers, adds meaning to my world and hopefully



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Friday in September)

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Ms. Veteran America Pageant-October 8

Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)

U.S. Navy (USN) Birthday-October 13

Day of the Deployed-October 26

Navy Day-October 27

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