The Philippine-American Foundation Veterans Memorial Event, held at the multicultural Philippine American Cultural Foundation Center in Okeechobee, on Nov. 28 was a resounding success. Organization President Sid Estrada opened the ceremony honoring the various branches of the United States Armed Forces, and included an Invocation by Pastor Johnny Jarriel. The foundation has donated an acre of land for the specific purpose of recognizing the contributions made by US Veterans of military service.
To signify the strong connection between the Philippines and the United States, the Philippine flag was hoisted during a performance of the Philippine National Anthem, immediately followed by the raising of the US flag and singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Sheriff Noel Stephen led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Master of Ceremonies Johnny Rowland began introducing public officials in attendance along with representatives from quite a number of area veterans associations.
Florida Governor Ron Desantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody both sent personal spokespersons to take part. Special Guest Naval Commander Jessica McNulty from the Pentagon in Washington, DC, gave an inspiring talk to an enthusiastic crowd. The program was concluded with the solemn playing of Taps.
Filipina photographer Len Holifield volunteered her time and talent, traveling from Mississippi in order to photograph the event free of charge.
Founder of the Philippine American Cultural Foundation of Florida, Edwin Dominado explained there are two phases of the center yet to come. The second will be a sports complex, and the third a youth museum.
The Cultural Center Site is located at 5154 SW 16th Avenue , Okeechobee , FL 34974