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On a sunny Saturday, November 13, the Village honored all Estero veterans, active military, first responders and Gold Star parents at the Estero Park.

The event was attended by approximately 500 residents who enjoyed military theme songs, a presentation of flags by the Estero High School ROTC, rifle salute by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and featured speaker former Blue Angels pilot Lee County Commissioner Ray Sandelli.

Estero Vice-Mayor Jon McLain served as master of ceremonies and Mayor Katy Errington, also a Gold Star Mother, introduced some of the elected officials attending the event in addition to speaking about Gold Star families.

Throughout the program, Estero concert artist Lindsey Graham performed moving patriotic songs.  At one point, she sang the Armed Forces Medley, calling all those who served in the military to come forward and the numbers were impressive.

In addition, there was a car show displaying a variety of new and old cars as well as a unique custom-built motorcycle.  Three food trucks were also available for those looking to eat.

For the youngsters in the crowd, there were two bounce houses, face painting, Way Too Tall Torrie who worked her magic with balloons, as well as the “I’m Proud to be an American” song presented by the New Horizons of Southwest Florida Choir.

The goal of this event was to bring the entire community together in a fun atmosphere while honoring our veterans and, by the look on the attendees faces, that goal was accomplished.

This special event was organized by volunteers from Estero Chamber of Commerce, Estero church groups, Estero Council of Community Leaders, Estero Historical Society,  Estero Fire Rescue, Estero Life Magazine, Estero Rotary, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Village staff, with Vice-Mayor Jon McLain serving as facilitator.