Being the Cradle of Naval Aviation since 1913, our economy relies heavily on military members and their families within our community. The Chamber established the Military Council in order to focus on inclusion, appreciation, and giving back to those who have served and to make the Perdido Area a desirable community for military families to live, work, and play. It is apparent that the military support in our community is strong. We hope to continue to encourage participation in causes, such as Military Appreciation, that deem important to our community as a whole.
Rosamond Johnson Day is celebrated each year in May in commemoration of Army Pvt. Rosamond Johnson. In honor of his ultimate sacrifice, and in recognition as the first Escambia County resident to pass during the Korean War, the recreational area became known as Rosamond Johnson Beach. The commemoration ceremony, open to the public, includes participation from the Johnson Family, Gulf Islands National Seashore, The Perdido Key Chamber, local color guard, and vocal performances. The ceremony concludes with a wreath-laying.
Each year on the third Saturday in May, a day nationally recognized as Armed Forces Appreciation Day, The Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce gathers the surrounding community of businesses, organizations, and volunteers to give back to the vast population of military personnel in Pensacola through the Star-Spangled Salute: Festival in Appreciation. The Perdido Key Area Chamber works with the office of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) of NAS Pensacola to create an event for the troops, to show appreciation for how important their presence is to our country, our community, and our businesses.
The Star-Spangled Salute: Festival in Appreciation is free and open to active duty and retired military, DOD, and their family members. The festival hosts a day of games, activities, food, and entertainment for both kids and adults. The Perdido Key community worked together to show appreciation to families so that they can enjoy a day together, which they may not always get to do otherwise. This opportunity to give back to those who keep on giving turned into an opportunity for community collaboration behind one common goal. Thank you to all who continue to join forces with the Perdido Key Chamber to show appreciation to our local Military personnel and their family members.
The Perdido Chamber also annually participates heavily with the Wreaths Across America ceremony held annually at Barrancas National Cemetary onboard NAS Pensacola. The goal is not only to honor the brave men and women who have fought for our country but also to teach young people about the sacrifices veterans have made throughout history. The Barrancas Cemetery is the resting place for a variety of troops, including 251 African-American soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War.