Although Leon County’s annual Veterans Day parade was canceled due to COVID-19, Big Bend Hospice found a unique way to honor local heroes who served to protect our freedoms. On Wednesday, November 11th, Veterans and their families were invited to a “Drive-Thru Celebration” on the BBH campus.

Starting at 10:00 am, Veterans and their families followed a designated route in the BBH parking lot. They were greeted by the staff, who wore masks and adhere to social distancing, waving flags and posters to show appreciation to those who served in the Armed Forces. Special gifts were given out to each Veteran.

AmeriCorps Volunteers and Big Bend Hospice Employees Cheered on Veterans

There was a pause in the celebration at 11:11 am to observe a moment of silence. This marks the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the Armistice, which took place in a railway carriage, between the Allies and Germany. This event marked the end of fighting on the Western Front in the First World War. The signing took place at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

BBH encourages everyone to help Veterans receive the accolades and cheers they deserve each and every day.

That is why they created a Valor Program in 2012. The staff is proud to provide care that recognizes the challenges unique to military families and because of this care, BBH reached the highest partner level – Level Five – as a member of the We Honor Veterans program sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. BBH patients who served are offered Valor Pinnings and Vet-to-Vet visits. There is a Memorial Garden to pay tribute to U.S. military Veterans and a Valor Tree of Life that displays dog tags for every Veteran cared for by BBH.

This “Drive-Thru” celebration was just another way for BBH to show their support to Veterans and had a special gesture at the end of the route. BBH staff, who also served, provided the greatest show of respect one Veteran can give another – a salute.

BBH celebrated Veterans in all of our local communities, including Franklin County, where our Advisory Council held a Veterans Service at the Three Soldiers Memorial in Apalachicola.