This year’s Veterans Day not only celebrates and commemorates hardworking, dedicated, and patriotic veterans of yesterday and today, it also marks the Centennial of Veterans Day, which was also known as Armistice Day, after the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1918. Later, in the U.S, November 11 became a federal holiday in 1938.
Across the country on and around November 11, local, state, and federal entities recognize the sacrifices of our veterans, and in some cases, honor their families as well. From local celebrations in schools to massive events near iconic monuments, there’s a version of veteran recognition near you.
Honoring Veterans on the Centennial Commemoration of Armistice Day
For a simple way to start looking for Veterans Day events, try your local school system.
School across the country vary in their schedules for the Veteran’s Day observance. Some follow the federal holiday and have the day off, while others take advantage of military moms and dads who are home and have a regularly scheduled instruction day for families to gather at school. You’ll find ceremonies big and small recognizing parent veterans who often speak in classrooms and lead the flag raising ceremony in the morning.
From New York to Colorado, check out a few more of the traditional and unique ways the country is recognizing and celebrating veterans.
Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
An annual tradition, the tribute to veterans includes various services during the day and an evening concert by the United States Marine Orchestra and the Washington National Cathedral Choir at 7 pm.
Marine Corps veterans get to add extra celebration to their Veterans Day, as the Marine Corps Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony takes place on the Sunday before. All in attendance get to watch the ceremonial cutting and enjoy birthday cake. On Veterans Day, a one time showing of D-Day: Normandy 1944 Film starts at 3 pm.
Laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery - The Veterans Day Ceremony
To start the day’s memorials, The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will play in the amphitheater at 10:30 am. Right after, a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier begins at 11 am. The Department of Veterans Affairs will host an observance program in the Memorial Amphitheater.
Several activities will occur at Mount Vernon on Veterans Day. At Washington’s tomb, there will be the opportunity to lay flowers, while inside the Education Center, a concert by the Harmony Heritage Singers is scheduled at 11 am. The U.S. Air Force Strings Orchestra performs at 3 pm, and guests will also have the opportunity to write thank you notes to active duty service members.
Hailed as the largest parade event of its kind in the U.S., the United War Veterans Council produces a heavily attended parade that includes approximately 300 marching units, 25,000 marchers, 30 floats, and 150 vehicles of various types that work their way through a city route.
The theme of this year’s parade is Veterans Supporting our Community. After the parade, awards will be given to winners of each category of the parade. Awards take place during Copperas Cove’s traditional Pinto Beans, Cornbread, and Desserts.
Programming runs all day at the Alamo and includes firing demos, living history, and freebies for military families and veterans including an audio or guided tour. The 20th Annual Veterans Day Parade and Festival begins at 8:30am at the Alamo Plaza.
Sponsored by national and local industry leader USAA, the zoo is offering free admission during the entire month of November for active duty, veterans, and members of the National Guard and Reserves.
Marine Corps Veterans in NYC Veterans Day Parade, Marine Corps NY Flickr
Fayetteville turns its Veterans Day celebration into a five-day affair from November 7-11, scheduling event after event honoring veterans and their families. This year, the intention is to shed light on the lives of Gold Star Families. This is a partial list of events.
- Fayetteville Veterans Day Parade
- Spouses in Military Expo
- Gold Star Family Dinner
- Rolling Thunder Veterans Day Ride
- Fall Festival and Chili Cook Off
- Woodpeckers Fall Fest
A veteran and his family are the latest recipients of a new home from Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Continuing the November 11 tribute to veterans, Habitat for Humanity is conducting a community build for the family of five who are relying on volunteers to finish the construction of their new home. The vision for new home was solidified after the Blessing of the Land in June of 2019.
Veterans Day celebrations come in many forms-- from the traditional parade to 5K races with patriotic themes. But all intend to honor past and current veterans for their dedication and sacrifices as U.S. service member.
If none of the previously listed events are within your scope of travel, reach out to a local veterans group such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Or, search online for “Veterans Day events in (your city or state)” and large and small celebrations will appear.
Life after active duty is a whole new world to conquer. Let MilitaryByOwner help guide you through the process. We have blogs and resources dedicated to helping veterans find new home towns, build businesses, continue education, and generally make the most of a well deserved retirement. Here’s a quick look at a few helpful titles:
- The Final PCS: Choosing Where to Live After Military Retirement
- After Military Retirement: Back To School?
- Preparing for Military Retirement: What to Know Before You Go