Veteran's Day Barbeque At Hollywood's TY Park

By Ira Liebowitz, Former Staff Sergeant, US Air Force

November 17, 2022

From about 12:00 p.m. Noon until 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11th, 2022 the City of Hollywood hosted its Annual Veteran's Day Barbeque at TY Park before about 150 US Veterans, their families and guests. Said Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy, "I'd like to start today by thanking all those among us who, despite the risk and sacrifice, raised their hand to serve and defend this beautiful country-our Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, Guardsmen and Reservists. Your service has helped keep our country and its citizens safe and free!"

The mayor added, "Let's also take a moment to acknowledge those families of Service Members and Veterans who help shoulder the weight of war and the burdens of sacrifice. To the mothers, fathers, spouses and children of our Military Men and Women, thank you. Your love, support and resilience are the backbone of this nation and that must never be forgotten."

The holiday festivities have been a tradition since initiated in 2011 by then Mayor Peter Bober. It had been disrupted during 2020 and 2021 because of the Pandemic. And it almost had to be nixed this year due to Hurricane Nicole that at the last minute on Thursday veered north to Vero Beach, sparing the City of Hollywood. For that reason, those arriving under the cap of 400 invited to reserve a seat were smaller than anticipated, though those who attended appeared to have a delightful time.

Mayor Levy thanked the members of the Hollywood Police Department, Fire and Rescue Department, the American Legion and VFW for attending the event. He also thanked his colleagues on the Hollywood City Commission who attend each year, representing Hollywood's 153,000 residents. He said that more than 5,000 Vets from World War 2 through Afghanistan and other theaters reside in Hollywood, Florida, more than 80 of whom are City Employees. Notably, the Commission recognizes our Veterans at the start of each City Commission Meeting, he said.

The Mayor included a brief history lesson of Veteran's Day. It began in 1918 after the Great War, once thought to "end all wars." It is celebrated on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month and first was known as Armistice Day and made a legal holiday in 1938. After other wars ensued, in 1954 "Armistice" was changed to "Veterans" to honor all Veterans.

Here are a few guests who attended:

My name is Galee Levine. I am the daughter of Leon Levine. My father was in the US Army and was a Lieutenant. He served his country with his heart and soul. All the Veterans that served our country deserve our utmost respect. Galee S. Levine -- RN Leon served during WWII.

Helen Chervian from Brooklyn New York - United Neighbors Association honors Joe Chervian
Air Force/Uncle and Brother

Bonnie Ogden from Hollywood, Florida said she'd been a nurse during the Vietnam era. She enjoyed the barbeque.

Pam Burgio - Hollywood Hills Civic Association. "Love our Veterans!"

Mayor Levy ended his speech with poignant words:

"As Americans, let's never lose sight of the meaning of today. May we always show respect for our American institutions, extend a lending hand to our neighbors and commit ourselves to making our communities across this great nation a place for all to strive for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... Let us make sure that no Fallen Soldier or Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Marine or Airman, shall have died or have been wounded in vain. We must remember them, honor them and we do that by not only extending to them our thanks and support, but also by living our lives as a free people!"