A variety of events are scheduled for Saturday to honor Veterans Day.
The Lake City Veteran's Day Paradewill begin at 11 a.m. at the Department of Transportation Headquarters on South Marion Street and go north, ending at Young's Park.
At 8 a.m., the Annual V.A. Hospital Holiday Fundraiser will begin accepting donations of cans of coffee, personal care items such as; shampoo, lotion, shaving cream, and good quality razors. They will have donation boxes placed in the Lake DeSoto Farmers Market each Saturday until December 8. The items will continue to be accepted through December 14. All items donated will be distributed to our local V.A. Hospital.
The campaign is spearheaded by Lake City employee David Pettey.
The Lake DeSoto Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon in Wilson Park, along Lake DeSoto between the Columbia County Courthouse and Shands Lakeshore Hospital.
Suwannee Valley Hospice Care Center hosts a Veterans Day Celebrationat noon.
This year’s speaker is Pastor LR Leguire, a Korean War Veteran. The event includes a barbecue lunch with smoked pork, cole slaw, green beans, beans and homemade desserts.
This event is free and opens to the public and will be held at Suwannee Valley Hospice Care Center Community Room, 6037 U.S. 90 West.
Thomas Wisnieski, Director of North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, spoke at the Friday morning ceremony at the Lake City VA Medical Center.
"Today we renew the commitment America has made to those who served. From Bunker Hill to Bagdad, we are the beneficiaries of their vigilance and determination to uphold the democratic beliefs on which our Nation was founded.
"At the Department of Veterans Affairs we are dedicated to serving the needs of the more than 22 million men and women living today who have served in this Nation's armed forces.
"For us, every day is Veterans Day. To all VA employees — thank you for your service on behalf of our Veterans. To all those who have faithfully served, we thank you. May God richly bless you and may God bless America."
Wisnieski introduced the keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Diffenbaugh. He is a 1972, graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Business. He joined the United States Army as a commissioned officer.
During his military career, he commanded two infantry companies and later in his career was assigned in Resource Management and Industrial Procurement. He joined the Reserves in 1988 due to Traumatic Brain Injury and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
He has been a lifetime advocate of Veterans and currently serves as Disabled American Veterans State Senior Vice Commander, National Order of Trench Rats Sector of Florida Silver Rodent and Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) Representative to the Gainesville VA Medical Center for the National Order of Trench Rats, Sector of Florida.
He also serves on the following Disabled American Veterans Committees and Foundations: State Executive Committee, State Finance Committee, State Service Foundation, State Membership Committee and Chairs State Planning Committee.
At 2 p.m. Friday,. Veterans on the Hospice unit and members of the Honor Guard were presented with Hats from their branch of service and a pin thanking them for their service.
Jason Williams, Lt. Commander, US Navy Reserves and Dr. Brad Gurney, Major, US Air Force Reserves made the presentations.