City of Gainesville to host commemorative events in honor of Veterans Day


The City of Gainesville is hosting two commemorative Veterans Day events Monday, Nov. 11, in honor of our service men and women, past and present.

The Price of Freedom, Evergreen Cemetery at 11 a.m.

At 11 a.m. at the historic Evergreen Cemetery*, located at 401 SE 21st Ave., the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) and Evergreen Cemetery Association of Gainesville, Inc. is hosting a Veterans Day ceremony featuring keynote speaker, Ronna Jackson, president of the local American Gold Star Mothers and director for the Military Support Group of Alachua County.

Chief Chaplain Melvin Lane from the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans System will lead a prayer for veterans and their families. Other speakers include District 1 City Commissioner Gigi Simmons and Kathy McGlone, president of the Evergreen Cemetery Association of Gainesville. The Eastside High School NJROTC will present the colors, and different musical acts will perform patriotic music.

The city has collaborated with the Military Support Group for Alachua County to collect items to make care packages to honor and serve our local veterans and deployed members of the military. Donations will be accepted at the Thomas Center through Friday, Nov. 8, and also at the event. A list of items along with the invitation to the celebration may be viewed here. Groups or persons interested in placing flags on veterans gravesites on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. or donating items for care packages in advance should contact Karen Pruss at 352-393-8535.

*The historic Evergreen Cemetery is 163-years-old, and is the final resting place for more than 1,000 veterans who served in every conflict from the Second Seminole War in 1835 through the First Gulf War in 1990.

Unveiling of Memorial Mile, Northwest Eighth Avenue at 1 p.m.

The City of Gainesville will officially designate a one-mile stretch of Northwest Eighth Avenue as “Memorial Mile” this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m.

District 2 City Commissioner Harvey Ward will provide opening remarks. The official unveiling will take place at Northwest 31st Drive and Northwest Eighth Avenue.

Street signs adorned with “Memorial Mile” have been installed on Northwest Eighth Avenue between 23rd Street and 34th Street, but the larger commemorative signs denoting the area will be unveiled as part of the city’s Veterans Day activities.

Since 2007, Veterans for Peace has displayed cardboard headstones along this stretch of roadway each Memorial Day. Dubbed “memorial mile,” the intent of the display is to both honor fallen heroes and provide a visual reminder of the cost of war.