The Voice of the Gem City

LOCAL NEWS 11/11/2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Those who served in the U.S. military are being honored today during Veterans Day celebrations in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties. American Legion Bert Hodge Post 45 organized the parade and ceremonies this morning at 10 a.m. down St. Johns Avenue in Palatka with Vietnam War veteran George Crawford, 88, as grand marshal. Azalea City Kiwanis cooking hot dogs and hamburgers at Post 45 on Osceola Street in Palatka for veterans and their families. In St. Johns County Anastasia Baptist church on A1A South held a ceremony with a special tribute to Vietnam War veterans at 11 a.m. The church has a traveling Vietnam war and global war on terrorism wall on display. At 7 p.m. Trinity Parish at 215 St. George Street hosts Celebrate America, an evening of patriotic songs and hymns. Flagler County and the City of Palm Coast held a ceremony at 10 a.m. at government services building at 1769 E. Moody Boulevard in the Bunnell area. A free barbecue luncheon for veterans and their families is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Central Park.
Because Veterans Day is a federal holiday, post offices, banks and government offices are closed as are schools in St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties.
The origins of Veterans Day go back to World War I when 8.5 million military personnel died on battlefields during the conflict that ended on Nov. 11, 1918. The next year ceremonies began to honor veterans during what is still known as Remembrance Day in Great Britain and the British Commonwealth. The United States first called it Armistice Day which came to be known as Veterans Day with two minutes of silence on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Incidentally, this is the the 83rd anniversary of the first public performance of God Bless America, a song that has come to be a sort of second national anthem in the United States. It was written by composer Irving Berlin during World War I but not released until Kate Smith sang it on Nov. 10, 1938. She had gone to Berlin looking for a song that would help Americans have hope and celebrate their country.
The Palatka Bluegrass Festival opens today at Rodeheaver Boys Ranch south of Palatka and runs through Saturday. A new company is running the event but some longtime favorites as well as new acts will be featured including Rhonda Vincent, The Grascals, The Burnett Sisters Band, The Atlantic City Boys, Remedy Tree and Tim Graves & The Farm Hands.
More damage from the nor’easter that swept through last weekend is being discovered. A breach is now visible in the sand dunes between Marineland and Matanzas Inlet in St. Johns County. Some beachfront houses along A1A are now almost surrounded by water. In Flagler County dune erosion is noticeable once again in the northern part of the county near Marineland, Jungle Hut and Hammock Dunes. That’s an area that was hard hit several years ago by Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. An estimated 20 percent of the sand brought in for dune renourishment was taken out by last weekend’s storm, say officials. Having the dunes does mean that A1A and houses are protected. Flagler Beach reopened its pier Tuesday. Some beach crossovers are closed closed including at Bay Drive Park and Jungle Hut Park and a number of dunes now have steep drop-offs, say officials, who are urging people to be careful.
Palatka officials will be evaluating qualification responses received for lobbying services Friday at 10 a.m. The city is looking for a new firm to handle their lobbying for government funding.
Coming up Sunday at Florida Agricultural Museum in Flagler County is the second annual Fall Wedding Expo put on by County Wedding & Event Planning and the Museum. The event is from 1 to 4 p.m. rain or shine at the Caldwell Dairy Barn.
Palatka takes part in a worldwide musical event at 3 p.m. this Sunday at the auditorium in the C.L. Overturf Center on South 18th Street. Current and former cast members of the Palatka High School Theatre Department will be performing Broadway songs as part of a show aptly titled All Together Now. It’s part of an effort to get people worldwide back in theater seats. Call or visit Ralph’s House of Flowers for tickets. The number is 386-325-4734.
River City Players continues their latest production Death by Golf tonight at the Larimer Arts Center, 216 Reid St.

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