At least two different ceremonies were held in Estero on Saturday, November 11, 2017, to honor the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s military.
The first event started at 8 a.m. with a breakfast at the Bonita Springs Estero Elks Club.
Kenneth Hough played the bagpipe for the presentation of the American flag, the flags of all the military services and an MIA flag.
Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons and District 6 Councilmember Nick Batos were the guest speakers followed by the presentation of a $1,000 check from the Elks Club to go toward the purchase of bulletproof vests for the Lee County Sherriff’s Department.
The Spirit of the Gulf presented all the songs of the military for the full-house crowd, which included a large number of veterans from all of the armed services.
The Village’s Inaugural Veterans Day event started at 11:30 a.m. at the Estero Community Park.
The ceremonies started with the presentation of flags by the Estero Boy Scout Troop 102, the national anthem sung by Gary Israel and a number of songs presented by the Estero High School Marching Band.
Councilmember Jon McLain, who was chairman of the Village’s Inaugural Veterans Day event, introduced a number of Estero veterans from World War II, Korea and Viet Nam.
Mayor Jim Boesch was the featured speaker, followed by the talented Gulf Coast Harmonizers, a local accapella group singing patriotic songs.
Included among the large audience of Estero military veterans and residents were District 76 Rep. Ray Rodrigues and District 3 Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker. District 27 Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, who was unavailable, sent a representative.
Following the ceremonies, attendees enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers and chips served by Estero volunteers.