The Patterson Foundation

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Nearly 3,000 people are expected to gather in Sarasota Saturday morning to remember and honor veterans for their sacrifice and service.

It’s not Veterans Day that’s five months off and Memorial Day was more than four weeks ago.

The Sarasota community is gathering to dedicate Patriot Plaza, the first of its kind, privately funded amphitheater and art installation at the public Sarasota National Cemetery.

Department of Veterans Affairs

The Post 9-11 GI Bill granted veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan a myriad of benefits including tuition money for college or trade schools. But those benefits have limits.

“We’re all aware that veterans receive GI benefits and several different levels of GI benefits,” said Michael Ayres, a development officer at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. “What none of us ever thought about was that these benefits expire or they can use them up.”