Mount Dora Honors Veterans at the 4th Annual Patriot Cruise and Salute
Veterans and volunteer at Patriot Cruise and Salute
Mount Dora celebrated the Veterans of American military service on Sunday, November 8 with a Patriot Cruise and Salute in Gilbert Park.
The Patriot Cruise and Salute is program designed to honor the veterans of military service, along with their families. The day’s activities include a morning boat ride, fellowship with fellow veterans and their families, a patriotic program in honor of the veterans, and a meal shared among vets and their families, with the volunteers who support the event.
Rozann Abato and Carroll Jaskulski, the couple who organize the annual event, honored 23 veterans this year. Two WWII veterans attended. Veterans from North and South Florida joined Central Florida honorees, with one vet coming from South Carolina to participate.
The Mount Dora High School ROTC, Mount Dora Police Department Honor Guard, Mount Dora Parks and Recreation Department, and the Mount Dora Fire Department joined together with the 80 volunteers, and 15 boats and their captains to welcome and host the vets and their families.
Larry Baker, from Main Street Leasing, has cooked for the attendees for the past four years – providing food and servers for the meal that this year served 150 attendees. Local bed and breakfasts supplied discounted or free rooms – the Grandview Bed and Breakfast was filled with vets and their families, at no charge to the guests. There were many who came forward from Mount Dora to offer support.
Below is a photo summary of the Veterans Day appreciation program – The Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute:
There were so many meaningful moments, moments that were in turns joyful, touching or somber. But we will close with these last two photos. This year, Rozann Abato surprised WWII veteran, Seymour Doctor (Doc) by presenting him with the flag, delivered by the police honor guard. As he was handed the flag, Doc, who offers the closing prayer each year, bent his head down to tearfully kissed the colors…