The 4th of July is about the birth of our nation. Besides the pre-requisite BBQs and fireworks, Mangowood (a neighborhood of nearly 300 homes in Palmetto Bay) has made it a point for the past seven years to meet at the flagpole at SW 152nd Street and 84th Court entrance and give thanks for our freedoms.
A wonderful blend of community spirit and tribute to residents who have and are serving in our military, this year saw around 60 neighbors gather to raise the flag, sing and hear from a variety of speakers. There was even some patriotic harmonica music from former Mangowood resident and military veteran Gunther Karger.
The event started in 2007, after a new flagpole was erected following hurricane damage in 2006. A red brick monument sign surrounds the flagpole that not only proudly spells out Mangowood, but also contains dedication bricks for neighborhood military members past and present.
Mangowood had several speakers remind the crowd just how they and others served in the military to preserve our freedom. A group of cadets presented colors and there was a wonderful community spirit throughout.
In years past, Air Force jets flew precisely over the flagpole to the delight of residents. Due to sequestration, that was not to be this year. Instead, the Mangowood Board collected funds to have three WWII planes buzz by. Palmetto Bay’s Village Council and even Cutler Bay helped fund the event.
Just as residents were singing the Star Spangled Banner and raising the flag, the planes did fly over; however, they were off by about two blocks. George Tabor, one of the Board members, said, “Well, they were there for us. Unfortunately, without GPS I guess they’re not as accurate as the jets.”
Regardless, this is one of those events that remind you how amazing this bedroom community can be. The Mangowood neighborhood has run community events for nearly 50 years.