Thursday, February 25, 2016

TAMPA TRIBUNE: Public invited to Gulf War Memorial dedication ceremony

SOURCE:  Tampa Tribune (, Linda Chion Kenney reporting, February 24, 2016



Public invited to Gulf War Memorial dedication ceremony

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Dedication festivities for the Gulf War Memorial at Hillsborough County’s Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. Veterans Museum in Tampa are set to begin 11 a.m. Saturday.
The event comes under the auspices of the Veterans Museum and Parks Committee, with the memorial in tribute to members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard who served in the Persian Gulf War.
The memorial covers both Operation Desert Shield, in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, and the ensuing Operation Desert Storm, in which American troops became part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq, which ended Feb. 28, 1991.
The special guest at the Gulf War Memorial Dedication will be Brenda Schwarzkopf, wife of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., commander of coalition forces during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The general died Dec. 27, 2012.
Owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and maintained and operated by Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation, the 16-acre park is designed to pay tribute to U.S. Armed Forces members past and present. It opened to the public on July 4, 1991.
A concerted effort has been made at the park to memorialize sacrifices made and all Hillsborough County lives lost in conflicts fought by American soldiers.
The park includes the Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Spanish-American War Memorial, Iraqi Freedom Memorial and the Committed Forces Memorial. Also on tap are memorials for World War I, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients, prisoners or war and soldiers missing in action. A War Dog Memorial is set for addition to the Vietnam Memorial. Memorials for World War II, Civil War (War Between the States), Seminole Wars and Mexican-American War are also planned.
The park includes a Field of Honor, which holds a quarterly remembrance ceremony for soldiers who lost their lives fighting the Global War on Terrorism. Having been moved to accommodate the establishment of the Korean War Memorial, the Field of Honor is in its second Veterans Memorial Park location, nestled between the war memorials for Iraq and Vietnam.
The Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. Veterans Museum is at 3601 U.S. 301, Tampa. For information, visit www.veterans or call (813) 744-5502.
Freelance writer Linda Chion Kenney can be reached at lindachion
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