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Veterans Day: family, flags, food

By MOLLY MOORHEAD
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 10, 2002

Celebrations, flag-raisings, memorial services and a bountiful buffet will honor the area's veterans Monday.

A buffet?

Golden Corral on U.S. 301 in Dade City, along with the chain's 400 other restaurants nationwide, will serve free dinner to veterans and active military personnel from 5-9 p.m. in observance of Veterans Day.

Richard Baker, manager of the Dade City store, said the restaurant served more than 400 veterans last year, and he's expecting a bigger turnout this year.

"That's a lot considering we only seat 150," he said.

But the buffet is only one of many observances planned across the county.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 65 is organizing a parade in downtown Zephyrhills. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will include military groups such as the American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America. In addition, the Zephyrhills High School band will be marching, along with Zephyrhills police and fire officials.

A Veterans Day program will follow at 11 a.m. at the American Legion Post 118 on Eighth Street.

"We're going to do it a little different this year," said Jim Amerman, president of the Veterans Council. Instead of having just one guest speaker, he said several people will be invited to talk about what Veterans Day means to them. The program will conclude with a 21-gun salute.

In Dade City, the Pasco High School band and ROTC will participate in a ceremony at 11 a.m. at Agnes Lamb Park in downtown.

A variety of services are planned in west Pasco County, too.

State Sen.-elect Mike Fasano will speak at an 11 a.m. service hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7845 in Port Richey.

The Polish Legion of American Veterans Post 184 and the Auxiliary will dispose of retired American flags at 9:30 a.m., followed by a release of red, white and blue balloons at the post home, 4035 Madison St., Elfers. The service will include a Memorial Rememberance Service with a Mass.

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