There's a place where freedom is front and center.

Honoring Our Heritage

Our nation's national cemeteries are the final resting places for men and women who served our country with unmatched valor and dedication. Since the 1860s, these shrines to America’s heroes have offered places of peace and reflection for military families and visitors.

Today, we offer the same through Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery that honors veterans, inspires patriotism and embraces freedom.

The Patterson Foundation fully funded the design and construction of Patriot Plaza and will donate it to our community and the National Cemetery Administration during a June 28 dedication fully underwritten by the foundation.

Patriot Plaza will be a space for our community to take pride in hosting veterans-related ceremonies and events for generations to come.

Patriot Plaza

Weekly tours of Patriot Plaza take place on Tuesdays at 10 am except for federal holidays. Participants should meet at the east entrance of Patriot Plaza near the bronze sculpture "Home," which depicts nesting eagles.

To schedule a group or school tour, please contact Cindy Balistreri at the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County: or 941-365-5118 x301.

Patriot Plaza is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.

Click on a number below to explore the features of Patriot Plaza.

  • The History

    Partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – National Cemetery Administration since 2010, we learned we share an intertwined past. Use the button to the right to advance the timeline and discover the connection between the wealth and history of military service at The Patterson Foundation and the early stages of the National Cemetery Administration.

    Swipe to view the timeline.

An Unprecedented Veterans Administration Partnership

According to the VA, about 12 percent of veterans take advantage of burial benefits -- whether they pass away in service or decades later.

Several years into the partnership with the National Cemetery Administration, we continue to honor President Lincoln’s decree to care for those who have borne the battle…

This is the first time a private foundation is partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to work on an enhancement of this complexity at a national cemetery.

We intend to share this partnership model with communities near the 131 national cemeteries that may be interested in exploring how their communities can work together and partner.

Our Team

Patriot Plaza may be bricks and mortar, but ingrained in every inch of the space is the expertise, thoughtfulness and heart-felt spirit of each person we are proud to call a part of the Patriot Plaza team.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with The Patterson Foundation, its volunteer construction and art advisory groups, and paid architecture, design, art and legal professionals poured over countless hours of concepts and details, concepts and the like to ensure Patriot Plaza’s excellence.

The Patterson Foundation Construction Team

Volunteer Advisors

  • Construction Advisory Group of industry experts
    • Billy Springer
    • Cliff Truitt
    • John Peshkin
    • Shawn McIntyre
  • Art Advisory Group of industry experts

Patriot Plaza News

#PatriotPlaza on Twitter


Veterans Legacy Summit - Nov. 14-15, 2014

While The Patterson Foundation presented Patriot Plaza to our local community this past June, it will share this unique public-private partnership with leaders from across the country Nov. 14-15 during the Veterans Legacy Summit.

Leaders from the government, military, philanthropy, national veterans-serving organizations and others supporting veterans will come together to share ideas, learn about unique partnerships, such as Patriot Plaza, challenge assumptions and push the boundaries of potential to honor our nation’s heroes.

Many of the weekend’s events are open to the public, including a community concert at Patriot Plaza on Sunday, Nov. 16 featuring the West Point Band. There is no fee to attend, however, registration is required:

Celebrate Service & Sacrifice at Patriot Plaza - Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
A highlight of the Veterans Legacy Summit, Celebrate Service & Sacrifice is a heartfelt salute to America's veterans featuring an inspiring keynote address by Army combat veteran and New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore. Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will also participate and a delegation of Forever Miss Americas will serve as the masters of ceremony. In addition to lending their talents to the ceremony, each Forever Miss America will also speak to local nonprofit organizations in the Sarasota region.

  • This event is FREE but tickets are required. Tickets will be available first come, first served while supplies at the following locations. Limit 6 tickets per person.
    Parking directions and details.
  • Sarasota County
  • Herald Tribune
    1741 Main St., Sarasota
    Mon-Thur: 8am-4pm (Nov 3-6)
    Fri: 8a-2p (Nov 7)

  • Sarasota National Cemetery
    9810 State Rd 72, Sarasota
    Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm

  • Sarasota Veterans Day Parade/Ceremony
    J.D. Hamel Park (Main St & Gulf Stream)
    Tue., Nov. 11, 10:30a-12:30p

  • SarasoSenior Friendship Center
    1900 Brother Geenen Way
    Tue., Nov. 11, 1-3p

  • Manatee County
  • Goodwill Retail Center (Bradenton)
    2715 51st Ave East, Bradenton
    Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm, Sun: 10am-6pm

  • Charlotte County
  • Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity Restore
    1750 Manzana Ave, Punta Gorda
    Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun: Closed

  • Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity Murdock Retail Store (Port Charlotte)
    1354 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte
    Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun: Closed

  • West Point Band Community Concert - Nov. 16, 2014 SOLD OUT
    As part of the Veterans Legacy Summit, the West Point Band will perform a community concert Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2 pm at Patriot Plaza (9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL). The West Point Band is the United States Army's oldest musical organization and features graduates from America's finest music schools. These musicians provide world-class music to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets and serve as ambassadors of the United States Military Academy and the Army to local, national, and international communities.

    • The event is a gift to the community from The Patterson Foundation and is free to attend, however, tickets are required. Tickets are now sold out for this event.
      Parking directions and details.

    Patriot Plaza Community Dedication

    If you were unable to attend the Community Dedication event, you may watch the rebroadcast in our Media Gallery or The Patterson Foundation will rebroadcast the event on the following channels in this month:

    • SNN 6
    • Saturday, August 23 6-6:30 pm
    • Sunday, August 24 6-6:30 pm

    • Saturday, August 30 6-6:30 pm
    • Sunday, September 1 6-6:30 pm

    • Saturday, September 6 6-6:30 pm
    • Sunday,September 7 6-6:30 pm

    • The Education Channel, Comcast 20 / Verizon 33
    • August 25 - September 28
    • Monday: 6:00 AM & 7:00 PM
    • Tuesday: 2:00 AM & 8:30 PM
    • Wednesday: 10:00 AM
    • Thursday: 4:00 AM & 3:30 PM
    • Friday: 9:00 AM
    • Saturday: 12:00 AM, 12:30 PM & 6:00 PM
    • Sunday: 10:00 AM & 10:00 PM

    Legacy of Valor

    Through 100 Legacy of Valor partnerships this past year, our caring community has rallied around the more than 100,000 veterans and their families who live and work in Southwest Florida.

    This enthusiasm will live on at Patriot Plaza as our community uses the space to honor veterans and their stories for generations to come.

    To learn more about Legacy of Valor, visit

Art Installations

The art installations at Patriot Plaza are some of the space's most inspiring and touching features. With a goal to preserve memory through art, the installations will honor men and women who serve, and their families, while communicating their stories to future generations.

As a private charitable entity, The Patterson Foundation enlisted the expertise of Ann Wykell, an art consultant, and a volunteer art advisory group of local and regional experts to carry out a call for artists that met national standards and attracted both local and national responses. The process also included private invitations to artists with acclaimed work in specified areas. In addition, local resources – such as a Sarasota foundry – will be used in fabrication and installation of the art.

For complete information, browse the detailed art information below.

Thumbnail of Service, Support, Sacrifice


Larry Kirkland

Thumbnail of Witness to Mission

Witness to Mission

Kenny Irby, Larry Kirkland


Ann Hirsch

Guardian Eagles

Pablo Eduardo

Night to Day Mosaic

Night to Day, Here and Away

Ellen Driscoll

Globe Inset

Star Map