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Community Celebrates its Veterans

Valerie Akler

The nation remembered its veterans Monday.   One of the many celebrations that took place on Veteran’s Day was at American Legion Post 192 in Fort Myers.    The parking lot was jammed and there was barely a seat left inside the Legion Hall.  Speakers included Lt. Col. Dawn Connor with Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base.   Addressing the mostly African American crowd, she praised the military’s contributions.

“There’s no hidden secret behind the endurance and success of the United States because in every way brave Americans have stepped forward and served honorably,” she said.

Marion Redden-Sims was in the audience.    She served state-side as a commissioned officer in the Vietnam Era from 1968 to1972.   She said as a young African American woman with a newly minted bachelor’s degree joining the military was the right choice at the right time.  

“Because it really did broaden my understanding of the government, it made me feel like I was definitely part of this country with equal rights.  And having been a committed civil rights activist, that was important for me,” Sims said. 

Veterans attending the celebration had served in every conflict since World War II.  Several were honored for their long service in the American Legion.