Windermere honoring vets in Friday ceremony

Retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner will speak before the crowd at the Veterans Day event.

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The town of Windermere and Rotary Club of Windermere are holding a daylong celebration Friday, Nov. 11, that begins with the weekly farmers market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., a children’s activity area from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a Veterans Day event from 4 to 10 p.m.

It all takes place around Windermere Town Hall, 520 Main St. Paid parking is available in front of Berkshire Hathaway, and all money will be donated toward the event’s beneficiaries: Home At Last Project, The Lone Sailor Memorial at Baldwin Park’s History Wall and the USO.

The Downtown Business Committee hosts the market, which offers selections of produce, breads, cheeses, coffees, arts and crafts and more.

Around 11 a.m., children can start having fun in inflatables and an obstacle course and enjoy face-painting, and treats such as cotton candy and popcorn.

At 4 p.m., information and vendor tables will be set up to start the big Veterans Day event.

“Windermere’s really, really happy and proud to be able to host its first-ever veterans celebration sponsored by the Windermere Rotary Club,” Mayor Gary Bruhn said.

A parade will hit the streets at 5:15 p.m. with color guards and a marching band. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner is one of the scheduled guest speakers.

Following the program, professional restaurant companies, such as Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ, Dexter’s of Windermere and Bella Tuscany, will have booths set up for food purchases. Five cub scout and boy scout troops will also be selling hamburgers, hotdogs, meatball sandwiches and desserts.

A band will take the stage from about 7:30 to 9:30 or 10 p.m.

“Come hungry, come thirsty, get ready to have some fun and pay tribute to our veterans,” said Dan Fanelli, president of the Rotary Club of Windermere.



Garner, the guest speaker, is best known for his role in heading Iraq’s transition to a post-Saddam Hussein government. He was selected by the Bush Administration to fill this position.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Garner was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant in 1962 and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He also led two air-defense units in Germany.

He helped develop the Patriot missile system and commanded missile batteries during the Gulf War.

Following the war, he led the charge to secure Kurdish areas in Iraq. Later, he was named commander of the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command and ended his Army career as assistant vice chief of staff, retiring in 1997 with the rank of lieutenant general.


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