Baby and I were  introduced to Patriots' Park on November 11, 2003, when he was invited to be a Guest of Honor at the Veterans' Day ceremony in Venice, Florida.


To me, there was something very special about the park from the very beginning, so we returned for another visit. That visit beckoned more, and I discovered that a feeling of reverence and appreciation for all who've served our country fell over me, every time we visited. We made it an almost daily activity to go there and walk, and to pick up and discard cigarette butts, wrappers, soft drink cans and cups, etc., dropped in the area. 

And even Baby seemed to know to show respect within the park where the Spirit of God, as well as those of fallen soldiers look down upon our presence on these hallowed grounds.

As a result, the park became a very important part of our lives, and I wanted us to become a part of the park. So, we gave a donation to Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI) In return, we were given a Freedom Pillar with a personalized bronze plaque embedded in the pillar. Purchasing the pillar is our way of saying thanks to the veterans, as well as making a contribution to the community. It will also be a visible reminder, for years to come, that Baby and I were once here as a team on this earth. 

Here's an aerial view of Patriots' Park, and Baby and me posing in front of our Freedom Pillar before our bronze plaque was installed. Our Freedom Pillar is located at the star point at the left in the image.

Terry Redman, a dear friend and volunteer for the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce installed the plaque on January 7, 2004. It was a great moment in our lives and Baby and I got to witness the long-awaited event!

Terry then took this image of us after the plaque was installed. The wind and cold was brutal that morning, but we wouldn't have missed this event for the world!

Here's a close-up image of the plaque, itself:

Here are more images taken at Patriots' Park:


We chose this pillar because of the view of the lake behind the pillar, as well as the patriotic statement of Thomas Paine that was already on the pillar.

Along with the Freedom Pillar, we also got a brick installed in the star. This is a close-up image of the brick superimposed on our image.

Patriots' Park is awesome, especially at night!

There's a gorgeous fountain in the pond adjacent to the park. I took a series of images and our webmaster, Kent Grubbs created an animation of the fountain.


County Commissioners  On Veteran's Day, 2004,  County Commissioners Jon Thaxton and Shannon Staub were kind enough to pose with Baby and me at Patriot's Park.

In 2004, we learned that dogs had been banned from Patriots' Park, so I wrote a letter to the Sarasota County Commissioners, asking them to reconsider this law. We want to express our gratitude to the commissioners, as well as John McCarthy, the County Park Superintendent, for allowing dogs to be in the park. Here are images of the commissioners. I'll post John's image as soon as I can get one from him.

Jon Thaxton


Shannon Staub            


David Mills

Nora Patterson

Paul Mercier

On April 26, 2005, the Sarasota County Commissioners honored us by allowing us to pose with the entire group. These people are the greatest, and wonderful leaders of our community.

Shannon Staub was kind enough to take Baby for a short walk before the Veterans' Day ceremony, 2005.

And Baby had a ball with this little fellow, who'll probably grow up  to be a Marine.

Here's a map you can use to find the park, if you are ever in this area:

This page is dedicated to a dear friend, Sgt. Gary Douglass, USMC, who gave Baby a big break by inviting him to be a Guest of Honor at the Veterans' Day ceremony in 2003. It was Gary who introduced us to Patriots' Park, the Marine Corps League and the local DAV Chapter.

Gary invited Baby after viewing Baby's War Page that we set up after 9/11/01. The link to the page is given below:

 Copyright 1998-2003 by Dan Atcheson and Baby the Bulldog!