Palm Coast - Many had the day off from work or school, but dozens of City of Palm Coast staff served 350 meals as a way to honor local veterans on Veterans Day in drive-thru fashion - a slight change from the original plan due to weather.
"It's for me and the veterans," said retired U.S. Army veteran Billy Jones. "So show up and thank the people that are putting it on for you so by golly we can have an appreciation for it."
Jones began the day with other local veterans by attending a special ceremony at Flagler Auditorium. He helped set up the program and hasn't missed a Veterans Day event in 20 years.
Following that ceremony, Jones and others were treated to a barbecue lunch from Hot Diggity Dog in the City Hall parking lot. Inside City Hall, a virtual ceremony produced by Palm Coast Parks & Recreation paid tribute to all military branches.
"This one is pretty special to me," said City of Palm Coast Recreation Specialist Jared Dawson. "Being a veteran myself, I stress pretty hard to make this one go as smooth as humanly possible."
Dawson, who served in the U.S. Army from 2011-2016, serves as the City's representative with the Veterans Advisory Council, working with local veterans groups and spearheading the planning for Palm Coast's Veterans Day event each year.
With flags lining council chambers, Mayor Milissa Holland delivered remarks, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance with local elected officials and a cutting of the cake - a tradition for the oldest and the youngest veterans invited to cut a cake as a reminder of the generations who have served, which was performed by Jones and Dawson.
In all, it was a day to pause, to reflect and honor those who have sacrificed for our freedoms. Thank you for your service.
Watch the City of Palm Coast video here: https://youtu.be/RjJjKO5v7us
Watch Flagler County's ceremony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYtEFgOAzJs