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Date of Issue: November 15, 2007

Islander honors veterans

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Jim Kissick shows off a copy of his autobiography, "A Flyer's Dash," during The Islander tribute to veterans Nov. 9.
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Buddies and vets Frank Almeda, from left, John Bacich and Harold Bergstrom attend the Veterans Day program.
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Veteran Ralph Bassett, during a speech at The Islander Veterans Day tribute Nov. 9 at Holmes Beach City Hall, salutes the crowd. Bassett remembered those veterans who have died, including his friend, veteran and former Holmes Beach City Commissioner Don Maloney. Islander Photos: Lisa Neff
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Islander Reporter Rick Catlin salutes veterans.
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A lone bugler with the Kirby Stewart American Legion Post plays taps during the tribute to military veterans Nov. 9 near the Anna Maria Island Butterfly Garden at Holmes Beach City Hall.

The Islander newspaper on Nov. 9 held its second annual celebration honoring veterans and Veterans Day as more than 125 veterans, spouses and family members attended the ceremony at the Anna Maria Island Butterfly Garden and Veterans Memorial at Holmes Beach City Hall.

An honor guard from Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24 in west Bradenton presented the colors and the 21-gun salute.

The ceremony honored all veterans of the armed services and, in particular, those veterans whose stories have appeared in The Islander’s “Greatest Generation” and “Forgotten Generation” columns.

Islander publisher Bonner Joy was the master of ceremonies and introduced Islander reporter Rick Catlin, who writes the columns. Also making a few brief remarks was Ralph Bassett, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of both World War II and the Korean War.

Joy read a proclamation from Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger honoring the veterans and dedicating the butterfly park as a lasting tribute to the veterans.

A special guest was Anna Maria native Steve Raymond, now 90 years old, who is a survivor of the Bataan Death March and was a prisoner of war of the Japanese for more than three years.

A complimentary continental breakfast was provided by Ooh La La! Bistro in the Island Shopping Center.

“The Greatest Generation” and “Forgotten Generation” columns are for Island, Longboat Key, Perico Island, Palma Sola, Village Green, west Bradenton and Cortez veterans, man or woman, who served in the armed forces of any allied country (U.S., Canada, Britain, Holland, Norway, France, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, etc.) during World War II or the Korean War. We’d like to hear from you. Please call Rick Catlin at 778-7978.