Cities across the United States are honoring the country’s armed servicemen and women on November 11, Veterans Day. The federal holiday is a time for organizations, municipalities, and individuals to host, or partake in, a multitude of military and historical happenings. Moreover, the late autumn event is an opportune moment to reflect, as well as an ideal occasion for a long weekend spent discovering local, or perhaps even national treasures.
Not one, but two mid-day parades will occur this year, beginning with the Vetarans Day Parade at 1:00pm. The back-to-back processions will circle Boston Commons and culminate at City Hall Plaza for a celebration with music and speeches. Though it seems unusual to hold consecutive Veterans Day marches, the second of the two, the Veterans For Peace (an organization devoted to bringing public awareness about the costs of military engagement) Parade, is traditionally kept separate for political reasons.
Those with hefty holiday lists may want to venture to Wrentham Village Outlets to get ahead on winter gift-giving. Shoppers should arrive early, as the attractive sales are no secret! Buses from Boston can be taken for a convenient ride to the shopping mecca.
Expect several Italian restaurant menus around Boston's North End neighborhood to include ravioli specials. The traditional Veterans Day dish draws its origins from 1918, when it is said that select group of soldiers (who had just returned from combat) were invited to join President Woodrow Wilson for a pasta dinner at the White House.
Visit www.northendboston.com/eat/restaurants for local dining options.
Although the special boat ride is scheduled for November 15 (after the official Veterans Day calendar date), the Cruise to the Boston Harbor Islands invites passengers to appreciate the area's military history and honor its veterans. The five-hour excursion to Georges Island is only $5 (vets travel free), and includes a tour of Fort Warren led by National Park rangers. The ship sets sail at 11:00am, though boarding 20-30 minutes prior is highly suggested.
The popular historical village is "Honoring Service to America" from November 8-11, where several themed Civil War events such as “Courage or Cowardice,” a mock trial that re-enacts the sentencing of a Virginia officer who had abandoned his post in the face of a British military siege, “On to Yorktown and Victory,” a showcase of the Allied Army in its efforts to engage British troops, and a “Military March Honoring America’s Veterans,” are on the agenda. Free admission will be granted to all veterans. Special accommodation and dining packages can also be reserved.
Junior representatives from Clark County School District’s ROTC will call attention to United States military heritage at Dula Gymnasium. The ceremony will showcase an armed and unarmed drill exhibition and a step-by-step American flag folding and explanation of “Old Glory." The neighboring senior retreat will serve a Veterans Day Luncheon at 11:30am (to reserve, call 702-229-6454).
Call 702-229-6307 for more information.
Head into town on November 11 for the second largest (Las Vegas) Veterans Day Parade, according to CNN. This year, two decade-old tradition will be hosted by Billy Stojack and Leonard Wenson. Festivities begin at 10:00am at the corner of 4th Street and Gass Street.
The Veterans Village has invited an impressive list of speakers, including Mayor Goodman, Congressman Joe Heck, and Congresswoman Dina Titus, to partake in the Veterans Day Candlelight Vigil and Concert. The ceremony’s centerpiece will focus around a commemorative candle lighting ceremony and moment of silence. Evening entertainment will involve a free Jet Velocity Rock Band concert and a special buffet for resident veterans courtesy of the Rio Hotel & Casino.
On November 20, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Wind Orchestra is performing in the American Heroes Concert, a historical event that will be guest-conducted by Colonel John Bourgeouis of the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, who will be joined by other eminent musical figures. General admission tickets are $10.
Call the UNLV box office at 702-895-2787.
La Habra, a “National Purple Heart City” in the Los Angeles area, will honor local residents who were the recipients of a Purple Heart Medal during a free event on November 11. The day will begin with breakfast from 9:30 to 10:30, followed by an 11:00am ceremony where guests from the historic military city will be treated to speeches, multimedia presentations, and special performances.
On November 8, a candlelight memorial walk will be led at Marie Kerr Park, home to the Mobile Vietnam Veterans Day Memorial Wall for the Antelope Valley. The community-funded Wall is intended to be a place for locals to reflect on the military contributions of the area’s vets. The site will be open for public viewing from November 6-11.
Between November 8 and 11, the Battleship USS Iowa Museum is inviting families to join it for “Veterans Appreciation.” The two-day celebration will kick-off with fun events and tours for visitors of all ages to delve into the intricate history of the World War II battleship.
Some of the country’s most recognized artists will be performing this Veterans Day in “A Concert for Valor,” a free live event held on the National Mall at 7:00pm. Such big-name talents as Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Jamie Foxx, and Meryl Streep are scheduled to make an appearance. The highly anticipated event is expected to draw large crowds and will be broadcasted live on HBO.
15 cities all over the country will be participating in the National Veterans Day Run. Find out more at veteransdayrun.org
Visits to U.S. National Parks are free on November 11. Go to www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm
Baskin-Robbins, the world-famous ice cream franchise, has launched a new Veterans Day-inspired flavor, “First Class Camouflage,” as its Flavor of the Month. A scoop of the army print-patterned dessert is a tiered concoction that consists of three swirled layers: chocolate, salty caramel, and vanilla.