At Palm Harbor United Methodist Church our veterans are very important to us. Throughout the year we do various projects and activities that support our veterans.
Armed Services Flag Garden
Have you ever noticed the Armed Services Flag Garden outside of the lobby? Every Sunday each branch of the service is represented with their flag flying proudly. It is our way of saying thank you each and every week to all of our veterans and their families.
Honor Flight of West Central Florida
We fully support the Honor Flight of West Central Florida. How can you help and support our area veterans?
- We are always needing people to welcome our veterans and guardians home after one of their flights. If you would like to download any of the applications or would like more information about the Honor Flight, please visit their website at www.honorflightwcf.org.
Wreaths Across America
Every December a group from the church assists Wreaths Across America in laying donated wreaths at veterans graves at various cemeteries across the county. Typically takes place on the third Saturday in December.
Churches give a big salute to Veterans Day
Article posted about PHUMC laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.
November 04, 2016 / By Ed Scott | FLUMC.org
Like many Florida Methodists and the churches they attend, Jessica Petot of Palm Harbor holds Veterans in very high regard. So, to actually be standing on the plaza at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier brought tears to her eyes.
Petot participated in the laying of a wreath. She listened as commemorative rifle shots were fired. She watched the caissons—wagons carrying caskets, each pulled by beautiful white horses—rolling in the distance, for the funerals that were underway.
Hearing the clip-clop of the horses, she realized “this was why we do it. These people gave their lives and we need to honor them.”
Across The Florida United Methodist Conference, churches are celebrating Veterans Day (Friday, Nov. 11) in a number of reverent ways.
A group of 15 people from the church went to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on October 4, 2016 to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on behalf of the Veterans group at the church.
“Palm Harbor UMC may be the Methodist church with the largest group of Veterans in the state,” church member Jim Hudson said. This was the first time the church had sent members to the tomb. Among the participants were Hudson, a hospitality coordinator on staff, and Petot, a member who manages church public relations.
“It was an out-of-body experience for me,” said Petot, who had been to the cemetery previously because two grandparents are buried there, it is a very special place for me.”
The caissons came within 20 feet of the Palm Harbor group.
“I have never been so awed in my life,” said Hudson, an Army Veteran. “What a feeling it gave me. To see all the memorials — Vietnam, Korea, World War II, the Kennedy flame — it was breathtaking to me. But over the top was laying the wreath at Arlington, one of the cherished memories I will ever have. I’ve been about two feet off the ground, and I am not coming down real soon.”
Palm Harbor UMC also participates in Honor Flight of West Central Florida, which flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to honor them. News of that experience convinced church members to visit the tomb for a day and to tour the nation’s capital.
A video of Palm Harbor UMC’s visit to the cemetery can be viewed on YouTube. The church will conduct a patriotic service to commemorate Veterans Day, while a pastor, the choir and students from their K-8 school will participate in a ceremony at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens in Palm Harbor.
“It’s a very big deal around here,” Petot said. “We take Veterans Day, Memorial Day very seriously.”
Thank you to all that traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the ceremony. On behalf of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church we thank all of our veterans and active military, and all of their family and friends- without you we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms we have today.