By Tamas Mondovics
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Thursday, December 7 proved to be extra special for Veterans living in Hillsborough County and surrounding communities thanks to the dedication of two brand new additions to the Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum: the Veterans Resource Center and the World War II memorial.
A large crowd of guests including some local WWII veterans also gathered for the ceremony of the 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor at the park and museum located at 3602 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Brandon.
As it was reported by the Hillsborough County communications, event guest speaker Army Maj. Gen. James Dozier said, “It’s appropriate for us to make these dedications on the 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
While commenting on the lessons learned during WWII Dozier added, “We still live in a very dangerous world. Leadership and preparedness are everything.”
The new 8,000 sq. ft. Veterans Resource Center offers services for local veterans, who number more than 98,300 in Hillsborough County, the largest veteran population among Florida’s 67 counties.
“The new services center is the result of a unified effort by our local Veterans, Veteran advocates, Hillsborough County government and the State of Florida,” said Assistant Hillsborough County Administrator, Dexter Barge during an earlier event.
The building has a multipurpose room for training and events. Funding for the $2.2 million facility included $1.9 million in grants from Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.
The WWII memorial honors those who participated in that global conflict, including 520 service members from Hillsborough County who died in the war.
The facility salutes U.S. servicemen and servicewomen of all eras, and has memorials to veterans from the Seminole Wars through the ongoing War in Afghanistan, County officials said.
The Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum proudly welcomes visitors to reflect all its memorials of Purple Heart recipients, POW/MIA forces, and war dogs, among other exhibits.
For more information, please visit www.HCFLGOV.net.