Veterans Day ceremony – November 11, 2020

news release

The Veterans Council of Indian River County invites the community to attend the Veterans Day Ceremony Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 at 9:00am on Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary in Vero Beach’s Riverside Park. This event is free to the public.

The keynote address will be given by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Curtis Holden. He served as an enlisted Marine and as an Army officer with over 25 years of service.  He graduated from Army ROTC at Northeastern University and received a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Western New England College. Lt. Col. Holden first deployment was as a Military Police Combat Officer during Operation Desert Storm, serving in Iraq.  Months after the terrorist attack on 9/11 he was deployed a second time, serving as the J-1 for Joint Task Force GTMO at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, which housed Afghanistan Detainees. From 2005 to 2006 Curtis was in charge of 11,000 Iraqi Police Officers in Salah ad Din Province, Iraq.  He served under the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Rakkasun), 101stAirborne Division. From 2009 to 2010 Curtis was the BLD Commander responsible for transferring 30,000 detainees to the government of Iraq. He served under Joint Task Force 134. Lt. Col. Holden served as a civilian police officer in the Metropolitan Boston area, holding numerous positions during his career.  Before retiring, he was a Police Supervisor during the Boston Marathon Bombing and shutting down the city of Boston in 2013.

The ceremony will include full military honors, with the Parade of the Colors by veteran groups, City of Vero Beach Police Department, Indian River County Sherriff’s Office, Indian River County Fire Rescue and numerous civic organizations.  The Vero Beach High School Band will provide music throughout the ceremony.  PJ Billing will be performing a patriotic set for the audience’s enjoyment.

A wreath honoring the fallen, presented by Staff Sergeant Pete Peterson, US Army Recruiter, will be placed at the newly dedicated “Gold Star Family Grove.”   Located adjacent to the cenotaph field, this grove of trees honors the families of service members killed while serving our country.  American Legion Post 39 donated the funds to create this memorial grove as part of the Vero Beach Centennial Year Celebration. 

The ceremony will start promptly at 9:00 am.  Ample parking is available at Riverside Park, with the Veterans Council providing a complimentary shuttle to and from the overflow parking lot.  Please remember to bring your lawn chair to enjoy this ceremony honoring our veterans. We ask that social distancing protocols be observed.

About Veterans Council of Indian River County:

The Veterans Council of Indian River County is a local collaborative 501(c)(3) non-profit made up of veteran organizations, civic associations and community partners dedicated to supporting all Indian River County veterans. For more information about the Veterans Council of Indian River County, visit or call (772) 772-410-5820

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