MARION COUNTY –Hundreds of students from Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) will show support for local veterans by leading, participating in and attending Marion County’s official Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 10.
This marks the 17th year in a row Marion County Public Schools has presented the annual ceremony. With an 11 a.m. start time, the event takes place at the Marion County Veterans Park located at the intersection of Southeast Fort King Street and Southeast 25 Avenue in Ocala.
MCPS invites the public to attend the ceremony and arrive early due to parking concerns. Attendees are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs as seating is limited.
This year’s program includes opening comments from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Diane Gullett and live music performed by students from Shady Hill Elementary, Howard Middle, and Forest High Schools.
Students from Hillcrest School will lead the Pledge of Allegiance while student writers from Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary, named for Marion County’s only Medal of Honor recipient, will recognize veterans for their service with spoken essays.
MCPS teachers who also served in our military will recognize the first-ever Joint Service Branch Color Guard comprised of MCPS students – all high school cadets enrolled in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs. They will lead the event and post colors for the ceremony. A special precision drill team performance will also showcase JROTC cadets.
The family of Army Specialist Robert E. Blair, a Lake Weir High School graduate who died in the Iraq war, will present a wreath honoring him and all local veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The ceremony also includes a 21-gun and cannon salute, vintage airplane flyover, and additional patriotic tributes.
This year’s Veterans Day event will be available on the district’s YouTube Channel (www.YouTube.com/MarionCountyK12) following conclusion of the live event.