Carrabelle Mayor Brenda La Paz, right, and Commissioner Tony Millender, led the dedication of the new Veterans Memorial Park. [ Pat Funderburk | Contributed ]
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Carrabelle dedicates new veterans memorial

In a patriotic ceremony Friday morning March 8, the city of Carrabelle dedicated its newly-expanded Veterans Memorial Park.

The park, along U.S. 98 in the center of town, now features six 30-foot flagpoles for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force flags, and one 40-foot flagpole for the U.S. Flag.

City Commissioner Tony Millender offered the opening prayer for the dedication service. In May 2021, he had brought his vision to expand the existing Veterans Park to include a military service flag display. 

In September 2022, after revising multiple conceptual drawings for the expansion, the CRA board approved the final conceptual design that included the Space Force flag, representing the newest military branch.

The CRA ended up paying $90,000 for the $115,300 park, with the remaining $25,300 coming out of ARPA (American Rescue Plan) monies.

Some of the original pine trees had to be removed, and the previous irrigation system dug up and replaced, as well as wiring for electrical outlets installed, pavers and concrete put in place, new sidewalks and landscaping created. 

The former flagpole for Old Glory was replaced and the old one relocated to the Carrabelle History Museum.

At the ceremony, Old Glory was raised by Navy veteran Greg Kristofferson and Coast Guard veteran Vance Pedrick, followed by Army veteran and Carrabelle Police Officer Tim Stevens singing the National Anthem, 

American Legion Post 82 and the post’s motorcycle riders, took an active role in the ceremony, with members helping raise the military service flags.

The flags fly high over Carrabelle’s new Veterans Memorial Park. [ Pat Funderburk | Contributed ]

All the flags will be lit at night from their bases. In her remarks, Mayor Brenda La Paz described in detail the history and design of each of the service flags.

Four of the service flags display an eagle; the flag of the U.S. Coast Guard is the only one to have Latin inscribed on it with the words “Semper Paratus,” the official motto which means “Always Ready.”

The U.S. Space Force flag, unveiled on May 15, 2020 in the Oval Office, has a black field with the central portion derived from the Space Force Seal. Because the flag is so new, it remains on backorder, so Carrabelle staff had a temporary replica made for the event.

The event featured a ribboncutting to celebrate the moment.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

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