Where to Find Northwest Florida Veterans Memorial Parks and Monuments

Northwest Florida veterans memorial parks and monuments honor those who served in our armed forces. Visiting a veterans park reminds us all that freedom comes at a price.

Drive through any town in Northwest Florida and you’ll likely see a flag or a monument honoring the local vets. Nearly every town has one because nearly every town, no matter how small, has war veterans.Monuments and memorials are a way for communities to honor their friends and family members like my Dad who served in America’s military.

With seven military installations across the region, it’s only natural that we have many service personnel, both active and retired, living here. We also have the world’s largest naval aviation museum, an airborne and armament museum, and the Camp Gordon Johnston Museum that honors those who trained here during WWII for the D-Day landings in Normandy.

My Dad in Europe some time after D-Day

As you travel around the region, take a few minutes and stop in at a Northwest Florida veterans memorial, and when you see one of our men or women in uniform, be sure and tell them thanks.

Admiral Mason Veterans Memorial Park

A Vietnam-era HU-1M Huey helicopterA "Huey" appears to be taking off from the Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola.
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A Vietnam-era HU-1M Huey helicopter marks the way to the Vietnam Veterans Wall South in Pensacola. Located at 200 S. 9th Avenue at Bayfront Parkway just east of the historic district, this 5 ½ acre veterans park features a one half scale model of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. and is 256 feet long. The park also includes monuments honoring those who served in other wars and military branches from WWI onward. Visitors often leave flowers and other sentiments along the black granite wall which is the only permanent Vietnam Veterans Memorial outside of Washington D. C. to list the names of all 58,217 Americans killed or missing in Southeast Asia.

Santa Rosa County Veterans Memorial Plaza

Overlooking the Blackwater River just south of U. S. Highway 90 on Willing Street in Milton is an elegant memorial dedicated to all branches of the military. Black granite monoliths, each depicting a different service branch or battle scene, surround a statue of a 20th Century soldier who crouches over the words “Fallen, Not Forgotten.” An eagle rises dramatically upward while a timeline tells the events of the American Revolution. Bricks, each inscribed with a veteran’s name and year or branch of service, pave the walkways while benches placed throughout the monument and facing the river offer a spot for rest and reflection.

Veterans Park downtown MiltonThe Veterans Park on the Riverfront in Milton
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Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial

With the Okaloosa County Courthouse as backdrop, this Northwest Florida veterans memorial located in Crestview features a black granite monument that honors veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all other conflicts. It is dedicated “In memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in all wars, POW and MIA.” A small fountain splashes in the foreground. There are benches on the plaza and a covered pavilion a few steps away.

Apalachicola, Florida Veterans Memorial Plaza

In Apalachicola is an inspiring work of art as well as a tribute to veterans. The Three Servicemen South statue is part of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., and is a bronze detail sculpture made from part of the original molds. The statue is set on a black granite pedestal and is the centerpiece of the park. Along with the statue is the “Circle of Freedom” brick walkway that surrounds the American and POW/MIA flags. The bricks are inscribed with the names of local veterans and supporters. The Three Servicemen Statue is located at 71 Market Street in Apalachicola adjacent to the Orman House State Historic Site and the Chapman Botanical Gardens.

The Three Servicemen South statue in Apalachicola
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Veterans Park, Carrabelle

Located on U. S. Highway 98 in the center of Carrabelle, this veterans monument is tiny in size but big on idea. A soaring eagle leads five miniature military statues, each holding a flag of their service branch. On the wall behind, bricks are inscribed with the names of veterans. Stop in at the beach park on U. S. 98 just west of town where you’ll find a historic marker that tells how the military training for the World War II D-Day landings took place here. The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is located in Carrabelle as well.

Veterans Park, Carrabelle
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Civil War Monuments and Memorials

It wouldn’t be the South without Civil War monuments. In fact, the first Confederate monument in Florida is located outside the courthouse in DeFuniak Springs. Shortly after the Civil War, the women of Walton County organized a Ladies' Memorial Association to erect a marble monument honoring Walton County's Confederate dead. They raised $250 for the monument, which was first erected in 1871 at Valley Church. It was moved to Euchee Anna, the County seat, and later to DeFuniak Springs when it became the County seat in 1890.

But not all Civil War monuments are Confederate. The town of Lynn Haven, north of Panama City Beach, is home to the only Union Soldier monument in the South. Founded by Union veterans and members of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) in the early 20th Century, the new “Yankee” residents wanted to erect a memorial to all Union veterans. They pooled a small portion of their monthly pensions and by 1920 had enough money for the construction. The monument features a Union soldier standing atop a 40 foot pedestal holding a musket and facing north. On October 18, 1959 the monument was rededicated to the honor of all U.S. veterans who have died in battle. The statue is located at the corner of 8th Street and Georgia Avenue.

Monticello, FloridaThe Confederate Memorial outside the Jefferson County Courthouse
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The Jefferson County Confederate Memorial stands outside the county courthouse in Monticello. It was erected in 1899 by the Ladies’ Memorial Association of Jefferson County to the memory of “Our Fallen Heroes.” It depicts an obelisk topped with a draped flag, a common Southern image of the period.

Along with these Northwest Florida veterans memorial parks and monuments you’ll find pocket parks, plaques, stones, flags, cemeteries, and other places that honor those who served. So, when you bite into that burger or piece of watermelon on Memorial Day or raise your glass in a toast on Veterans Day, take a moment to think about what the day means and why we celebrate it.

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