US Navy Blue Angels fly high over Pensacola Beach as a young boy watches from the shoreline

A Veteran’s Visit to Pensacola

Date Posted: Aug 30, 2021

It’s no secret that Pensacola has a rich military history. That military history can be traced all the way back to the Spanish occupation, and the strong military presence continues today thanks in part to Naval Air Station Pensacola, which serves as home to the world-famous Navy’s Blue Angels. The Blue Angels frequently fly high over Pensacola, and they will be holding the Homecoming Air Show over Pensacola Beach on November 5 and 6. Foo Foo Fest will be hosting multiple events incorporating a salute to the city’s military history, but while here, also be sure to check out the many other veteran experiences only Pensacola can offer.

Visit Veterans Memorial Park

It’s only fitting that a city so rich in military history is home to a park dedicated to the memory of those who served and sacrificed their lives to protect the nation. That’s the mission behind Veterans Memorial Park. Veterans Memorial Park serves to honor service members with existing memorials and those yet to come, including a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial. Known as the “Wall South,” Pensacola’s replica is the only permanent replica of the National Vietnam Memorial to date. Since it was constructed in 1992, the park has added a WWI Memorial, WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Purple Heart Memorial,  a series of plaques to honor local warriors who have fallen and a monument to the submarine lifeguards who rescued Navy pilots in WWII. Its newest addition is the Marine Corps Aviation Bell Tower, and soon it will be home to a Revolutionary War Memorial.

Explore the National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum exists to recognize the brave men and women who served in and advanced naval aviation. It’s the world’s largest naval aviation museum, and it’s also one of the most visited museums in all of Florida. Guests are greeted onto the property by “The Spirit of Naval Aviation” monument, and all throughout its 350,000-square-foot interior space and 37 acres, the museum features 150-plus incredibly-restored aircraft representing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation.

Tour Fort Pickens

Located on Santa Rosa Island, Fort Pickens was originally built in 1834 to defend Pensacola Bay and the Pensacola Navy Yard and Depot from any potential attacks. The pentagonal structure, which remained in use until 1947, was named after American Revolutionary War hero Andrew Pickens and was actually one of four military forts designed to protect Pensacola in the 1800s.

Take a Pic with the Pensacola Pelicans

The city of Pensacola has cemented its salute to the military with its Armed Force Pelicans. A bird representing each branch of the military has long stood at the intersection of Palafox and Garden Streets.

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