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St. Augustine, FL – On Veterans Day, Nov 11, the Castillo de San Marcos will be open free to the public in honor of our veterans’ service to our nation, and to commemorate 452 years of militia in St. Augustine. Events will include a parade sponsored by the Veterans Council of St. Johns County and the Ancient City Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces. The all-military parade, which begins at 11 a.m. will include units from all the military services.
There will be no charge for entrance into the Castillo this day. Within the walls of the Castillo you will be met by volunteers of various time periods, displaying a timeline of the Castillo’s military history, and living history encampments represented by park volunteers between the hours of 9:30a.m and 4:30p.m. The timeline will include representatives of the First and Second Spanish periods, the British period, the Civil War period, and World War II. Please join us to celebrate our nation’s veterans and explore the history of the many flags that have flown over the Castillo and the people who have shaped history from within its coquina walls.
In addition commemorating our country’s veterans, we will be joined by the current military in the form of a United States Coast Guard helicopter and crew from Jacksonville’s HITRON Squadron, and a Florida Air National Guard helicopter. Take a look at the helicopters and visit with the crew on the Fort’s north green.
Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States and interprets more than 450 years of cultural intersections. Fort Matanzas National Monument preserves the fortified watchtower, completed in 1742, which defended the southern approach to the Spanish military settlement of St. Augustine, and protects approximately 300 acres of Florida coastal environment. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov and visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.