PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — In the words of today’s guest speaker at the Pensacola Veteran’s Ceremony, Capt. Dale Dye, America was on parade today in Pensacola.

Countless veterans, families of veterans and those that serve today lined the streets and filled up Pensacola’s Veterans Memorial Park to celebrate those that have served the United States of America.

Dye gave the keynote speech at the Veterans Memorial Park after the parade in Downtown Pensacola. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Dye founded Warriors Inc., a technical advisory company specializing in portraying realistic military action in Hollywood films with venerable directors such as Oliver Stone and Steven Spielberg. Dale is best known for offering his military expertise to movies and television programs, including the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

Prior to the production of Platoon, Dye put the principal actors, including Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, and Forest Whitaker, through an immersive 30-day military-style training regimen. Alongside his advisory roles, Dye has acted in, directed and written scripts for many television and film productions. His more familiar credits include Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump, Band of Brothers, Mission Impossible and The Pacific.

“Wow, Pensacola, an actor is never supposed to be speechless, but I think you have left me that way,” Dye said. “I saw America on parade today. What a magic thing. Miles and miles of JROTC students. Tell me America isn’t in good hands.”

Dye said he is always honored to make appearances and give speeches but asked for advice on what he should say during his speech on Friday.

“It’s often hard to come up with something fresh to say,” Dye said. “So, this year I consulted some people, mostly veterans and veterans’ families. People told me a Veteran’s Day speaker should begin by describing America’s beauty. That’s easy. Just look around you in the Florida panhandle. You are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. No matter what your taste in environments in landscapes, America has a place to make you smile. All across these fruited plains and from sea to shining sea, we all owe a lot of that to our veterans. We have a country worth fighting for, and, if necessary, worth dying for. No one, understands that better than our veterans.”

The second piece of advice Dye received was to talk about praise for America’s forefathers.

“I am a product of those forefathers that came to America in search of a better life, and so are you,” Dye said. “The folks who built this country built the greatest nation on Earth. They were pursuing a better life. They were determined to give their children American heritage of freedom and prosperity. Certainly, our forefathers, and foremothers, would understand that America is a country that rewards hard work. It rewards initiative. It rewards tenacity and courage with great success and prosperity. America’s veterans understand the pursuit of happiness does not depend on government handouts. Freedom is never free. They understand that service and sacrifice are part of the drill. Our forefathers established the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and we live it every day.”

The last bit of advice Dye received was to make sure he thanked God in his speech.

“As a veteran, I’m here today to do just that, to thank God for America’s proven virtues,” Dye said. “Selfless servant, self-reliance, honor, patriotism and courage. If you think about it, that pretty well describes any veteran. All of those virtues are present and obvious among our nation’s veterans and that is what I want you to appreciate on this Veteran’s Day, and every other day that you breathe the free air in this great nation. Our veterans understand that there is something here that is bigger and more important than themselves. They demonstrate the courage to defend our convictions and we dare not forget that.”

The ceremony was sponsored by the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, which had its 30th Anniversary for its Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall South on Friday.

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