Show your support on this Veterans Day Happenings
On Wednesday, November 11, the United States will celebrate Veterans Day, a holiday held in honor of its citizens who served in the Armed Forces. While Memorial Day in May honors those who gave their lives serving their country, Veterans Day is meant to show appreciation for those men and women who are still living. If you are not a veteran yourself, odds are that you know someone who is, whether they are a family member, a friend, a coworker, or even the barista at your local coffee shop. Veterans are all over the place, but when they’re out of uniform, there’s no way to distinguish them from regular civilians. That is why a holiday like this is so important: it gives us a chance to realize that we are surrounded by brave people who are willing to put everything on the line for the safety of our country. So, if you see someone in uniform on Wednesday, make sure to thank them! Below, we’ve included some events happening and ways to contribute in various cities across the country that will be held in honor of Veterans Day.
Washington, D.C. is the number one place to go if you want to join in the festivities to honor veterans. The main event in D.C. each year is the Concert for Valor, a huge musical event held on the National Mall. The event is always able to book some of the music industry’s biggest names, but this year’s lineup is going to be something special! The performers include indie-rock duo the Black Keys; “the Boss” himself, Bruce Springsteen; former American Idol winners Carrie Underwood; Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson; Dave Grohl, former drummer of Nirvana and current lead singer of the Foo Fighters; superstar rapper Eminem; legendary thrash-metal group Metallica; and, last but not least, Rihanna, a pop sensation and fashion icon. The show starts at 7 PM and is free to attend!
Arlington National Cemetery is a beautiful area to visit at any point during the year, but on Veterans Day, there are several ceremonies held around the grounds. Among them will be the 17th annual Women’s Military Memorial Service, held in honor of the brave women who have served in the military. These days, there are many people who question whether women have a place in the military, so it’s refreshing to see these brave ladies getting the recognition they deserve!
D.C. is also filled with war memorials and monuments, and each one has a different ceremony scheduled to honor its veterans, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the United States Marine Corps Memorial.
Soldier Field is the home of Chicago’s NFL team, the Bears. It was named in honor of the fallen soldiers in World War I. At 11 AM on Veterans Day, there will be a special ceremony at Gate 0. Then after that, head up to Navy Pier, one of the city’s most entertaining areas. There are several restaurants where you can get a delicious bite to eat, a Ferris wheel that offers an amazing view of the city’s skyline, Lake Michigan cruises that leave from the docks, and much more!
New York City
The Big Apple hosts the annual America’s Parade each Veterans Day, the largest celebration of veterans in the country. This event gets a lot of media coverage, and this year, it will be broadcast on television and live streamed on the internet, so you can watch from anywhere in the world as wave after wave of service men and women march up Fifth Avenue. There will be over 250 groups and 20,000 people marching in the parade. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 AM near Madison Square Park, and the parade will follow at 11:25.
The Battleship USS Iowa Museum is located inside a retired Navy vessel in Los Angeles Harbor. The boat itself was an important ship in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Every year, it holds a Veterans Appreciation ceremony that lasts 4 days. Beginning on November 8th, visitors will not only get the chance to honor veterans, but also learn about the history of this famous ship. There will also be a Veterans Day commemoration at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which will include live musical performances, a display of military vehicles, a flyover with real military aircraft, and more. The program begins at 11 AM.
It is a sad truth that after completing their service to the country, many veterans are unable to find jobs as civilians and end up on the streets. If you’re going to be in Beantown on the 11th, please consider volunteering at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans at 17 Court Street, where you will help serve meals to over 250 men and women who found themselves in an unfortunate position after their service. Volunteers must register with the organization ahead of time, so give the NECHV a call or visit their website to fill out the necessary form. This isn’t a once-a-year event, either: the Center does this every day, and it can always use volunteers!
These are only a small sample of the countless Veterans Day parades, ceremonies, and events that are scheduled for November 11th. Whether you live in the biggest of cities or the smallest of towns, there is sure to be an event near you, so head out and show some appreciation for these courageous veterans. And, as always, if you need to make any travel arrangements, visit GotoBus.com!