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8th Veterans Celebration Car Show in Clermont • November 4th, 2007

story, photos and captions by John Michael

On Sunday, November 4th, 2007, the grounds surrounding the Citrus Tower in Clermont were once again the location for the Annual Veterans Celebration Car Show. Now in its 8th year in honoring all Veterans of all wars and conflicts, the show is open to all vehicles 1979 and older, plus later model special interest vehicles. The morning started out chilly for Florida, even though the sun did gradually warm up the day despite the cool breezes. Upon registration, dash plaques, goody bags and a ticket for the door prizes and the car lift were distributed. A four-post car lift was given away once again this year, and you could register your car more than once to improve your chances of winning the lift donated by PROKAR Lift Systems. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office brought a few patrol vehicles for display, including a pickup towing a patrol boat, and an Armored Personnel Carrier, which is used by the SWAT team in unusual and dangerous situations. The Military Vehicle Preservation Association also brought several retired military vehicles and a patrol boat was also on display named “The Charlie B”, that was used during the Vietnam War. It was neat to see these old vehicles that served those that were serving out country. Clermont Dodge had a few vehicles on display as well, including some new models and an old Dodge Seneca police car. In addition to the live entertainment and ceremonies, DJ’s Butch and Jennifer Johnston of WJBJ Cruisin’ With The Classics were on hand keeping us cruising musically down Memory Lane.

Ceremonies took place throughout the day, starting with a bag piper opening the ceremonies playing Amazing Grace followed by an invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance. A guest speaker, retired USN Captain Sexsmith, discussed what it means to be a Veteran, and who Veterans really are. After listening to him speak, it really makes me thankful to all of those who have served and gave their lives so that we could live in a land that enables us to be free. Boy Scout Troop 551 was on hand to demonstrate the proper way to fold the flag and the reason behind the 13 folds. Following a 21 Gun Salute around 1:00pm, the traditional four-place fly over by vintage military aircraft included three passes with all four planes, and the fourth fly over had the “Missing Man” formation. After the fly over was completed, the crowd was treated to a USO Show, just like our soldiers stationed all over the world have seen. The girls performing in the USO Show were all local title-holders for the Miss America, state of Florida division winners. About 10 drawing for $50 cash were held around 3:30pm, and then the lift was given away courtesy of “Big Bill”. The 50/50 drawing was also held, with $280 going to the winner. Finally, the Sponsors Choice awards were presented, and the event to honor our Veterans came to a close.

The Veterans Celebration Car Show is an annual event to honor all Veterans of all wars and conflicts, and is a great way to say THANK YOU to all those who served our country, to remember those who didn’t make it home, and for those still Missing In Action. If you would like to honor our Veterans by attending next year’s show, keep checking for the listing in the Coming Attractions section of Mike Kelly’s Cruise News. Info will be published as it becomes available. CN