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Military attractions throughout Jacksonville honor the history of our city, country and those who serve.
“Our veteran and military community has contributed significantly to making Jacksonville the vibrant city it is. We are just as grateful for their service to the country as we are for their service to the local community, and value every opportunity to demonstrate our respect and appreciation." - Mayor Lenny Curry
We've pulled together some of the highlights where Jacksonville's rich military heritage and gratitude is celebrated and honored throughout our area year-round. When planning your visit, consider making these attractions and events a part of your experience.
Veterans Memorial Wall – The monument was dedicated November 1995 and serves as tribute to more than 1,700 Jacksonville area American war heroes. The memorial is one of the largest walls in the United States, second only to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C., and the only wall that honors Veterans from all six service branches. The 65 foot black granite monument contains the names of servicemembers from World War I through the War on Terror.
Jacksonville Naval Museum/USS Orleck - The city is thrilled to add a retired Navy destroyer attraction to Downtown in spring 2022. The USS Orleck is the most decorated post-World War II ship, having served in the Korean, Vietnam and Cold War eras. In addition to being open to the public, it will serve as a gathering place for Naval Associations, crew reunions, and military conventions while supporting veterans as a local resource and networking center. Next to the ship, there are plans for a ticket office, gift shop and a park that could include a Naval aircraft display. Future initiatives may include a Tall Ships Festival or Navy Fleet Week.
NAS Jacksonville Base Tours - Base tours are open to select groups. Contact the base directly for more information.
Naval Station Mayport Tours - Base tours are open to select groups. Contact the base directly for more information.
Memorial Park – This park was built by the people of Jacksonville to honor the 1,220 Floridians who died during World War I. Dedicated Christmas 1924 on the banks of the St. Johns River, it is considered one of Jacksonville's crown jewels. Designed by the renowned Olmsted Bros. landscape architecture firm, Memorial Park stands at the heart of one of Jacksonville's greatest neighborhoods, Riverside, within walking distance of a flourishing restaurant and arts district.
The Lone Sailor Statue - The statue is an iconic symbol representing the United States Navy Memorial’s mission to Honor, Recognize, and Celebrate the people of the Sea Services, past, present, and future; and Inform the public about their service. The statue was designed by sculptor Stanley Bleifeld, who created the national memorial in Washington D.C. While other cities have similar replica statues, the pose used in Jacksonville is reserved for the city’s use only. The statue is located on the Southbank Riverwalk.
National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum - Located at the former NAS Cecil Field Master Jet Base on 26 acres, the existing park was dedicated to Naval Aviators stationed at NAS Cecil Field during the Vietnam and Desert Storm Wars. The site currently consists of markers and planted trees for each of the 16 pilots, a pavilion with stage area, a starburst metal display of aircraft, and a granite base seal of this former Master Jet Base. Opening soon is a museum to honor all former POW and those who are still MIA and unaccounted for; to share stories, feature the history of the POW/MIA symbol; the history of Naval Air Station Cecil Field, and to serve as a facility for the U.S. military family.
Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park – Located near the mouth of the St. Johns River, this site was an important military position during the Civil War, allowing access to the inland areas of Florida's east coast.
Jacksonville National Cemetery – This is a United States National Cemetery encompassing 526 acres that began interments in 2009. Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
Jacksonville Air Show – This annual free event features a dynamic over-the-water sky show highlighted by the world-famous United States Navy Blue Angels along with other military and civilian aircraft displays. The event alternates annually between the shores of Jacksonville Beach and the St. Johns River that runs along NAS Jacksonville.
Veterans Day Parade – As proud host of Florida’s largest Veterans Day Parade, Jacksonville holds special events leading up to the day that include family festivals, military appreciation luncheons and guest speakers. On Veterans Day, the parade is a patriotic spectacle with senior military officials, active duty and retired military units, veteran groups, local high school marching bands, ornamental floats, enormous balloons and much more.
Celebration of Valor - The Celebration of Valor is an annual series of events honoring the service and sacrifice of Jacksonville’s proud military community. This annual tradition brings together the city and the military communities in the local area to recognize those who serve and who have served.
Salute to Veterans Run - The Salute to Veterans Run (S2VR) Run/Walk is a time honored tradition and longest running Veterans Day 5K in Jacksonville, positioned as the premier event for the city's “Week of Valor.” The race salutes all veterans with a unique start by displaying the flags of all military branches and singing a verse of the service song for each branch.
TPC Military Appreciation Day - The PGA TOUR honors men and women in uniform with Military Appreciation Day during THE PLAYERS Championship. All career military, active duty, reserve, military retirees and dependents, receive complimentary admission to the tournament all week long and a full day of activities is capped off with a ceremony and a special concert performance from a nationally recognized performer(s).
City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department
Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce
K9s for Warriors
Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Operation New Uniform
Children of Fallen Patriots
Five Star Veterans Center