Veterans Day is observed every year on November 11th. Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day” when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed this day in November 1919. Armistice is when warring parties agree to stop fighting and “Armistice Day” recognizes the end of World War 1 when hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11 A.M, 1918 (11th hour, of the 11th, of the 11th month).
On May 13th, 1938 Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday each year. A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. Originally Armistice Day only honored veterans of World War.
On November 11th, 1947 Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized a “National Veterans Day” parade in Birmingham, Alabama to recognize veterans of all wars.
This celebration led to Congress changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize Veterans of all U.S. wars.
Here are some of the Veterans Day activities around the Heart of Florida:
Veterans Day concert: The Buchholz High School band program will present a musical salute, which will include performances by the Buchholz Golden Regiment, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and patriotic dance features by Aviance Dance Ensemble, 7 p.m., University auditorium, UF campus. Concert is free; donation of a non-perishable food item to benefit local charities is requested.
Annual Veterans Day celebration: Alachua County’s Veterans Day celebration will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in Kanapaha Veterans Park. There will be patriotic music, a helicopter static display, flu shots for veterans, a drill team demonstration, wreath laying ceremony, echo taps and a community barbecue. (Alachuacounty.us, 264-6740)
Col. Charles D. Young Veterans Day Breakfast: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., invites veterans for breakfast and to hear up-close experiences from veterans who served during conflict; 8:30 a.m., Martin Luther King Center, 1028 NE 14th St. Free for veterans; $10 for others. (955-6684, firstname.lastname@example.org)
CARE Packages: The Military Support Group is sending packages to the troops; suggested items include toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, sunscreen, lip balm, baby wipes, shaving cream, Q-tips, lotion, Band-Aids, worldwide phone cards, AA batteries, tortillas, Gatorade powder, Campbell’s Select Soups (in plastic bowls), Dinty Moore microwave bowls, on the go single-serve pastas, phone cards, magazines, hard candy, recloseable bags, tampons and pads. If interested in contributing, contact Pam Krueger at email@example.com.
About 2,000 students from Marion County public schools will participate in the Veterans Day program that begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Ocala/Marion County Veterans Memorial Park, 2601 E. Fort King St., Ocala. Music will be provided by students from Eighth Street, Hammett Bowen and Ward-Highlands Elementary Schools, and North Marion and West Port High Schools. There will be special readings by students from Hammett Bowen and Legacy Elementary Schools and Hillcrest School.
Junior ROTC units from Belleview, Dunnellon, Lake Weir, North Marion and West Port high schools will participate. The Hammett Bowen Elementary color guard will take part and the Ocala Police Department Honor and Color Guards will provide a military gun salute and post the colors.Pilots from the Leeward Air Ranch War-birds will fly over in military formation.
The Gilchrist County Woman's Club is hosting breakfast for all active and former members of the Armed Forces and their spouses today from 7:30am to 9:30am. The event is at at the clubhouse, 2107 SE. Gilchrist County Road 339, Trenton. The general public is also invited but will be asked to make a donation. The menu features pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, assorted muffins, coffee cakes, orange juice and coffee.
Cornerstone Assembly of God 1045 NE. Sixth Blvd., Williston, is having a free Veterans Day breakfast for veterans at 9am.
The Town of Cross City has scheduled its annual Veterans Day ceremony and parade for to start at Evans Square shopping center at 10:30 a.m. and will proceed north on U.S. Highway 19 to the flagpole across from the old Dixie Chevrolet. The ceremony's agenda will include the flag raising, the Pledge of Allegiance, comments by some local officials, and two featured speakers (among other items). This year's speakers will include Dixie County Administrator Mike Cassidy (United States Air Force); and Commander American Legion Post 383 Mike Hutto (United States Navy). Any and all veterans ~ of any service or conflict ~ are welcome and are encouraged to participate in the parade. For any veterans that are unable to, or just might prefer not to walk the parade route, in-parade transportation will be available. For anyone to march in the parade, they should be a United States veteran of one of its service branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. Parade participants should be at Evans Square by 10 a.m. sharp for parade lineup. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., with the flagpole ceremony and program beginning at 11 a.m. This year marks the 14th year of this notable tribute to the selfless men and women who have well served this nation in the military. This event was originated by Tank Lee, who still orchestrates and coordinates this annual event. What started out as a handful of people gathered at the flagpole at the local cemetery has grown into a production that last year drew about two hundred attendees ~ complete with marching band. All citizens are urged to attend this event to honor those who have so valiantly served this nation. For further information regarding the parade or the ceremony, please contact event coordinator Tank Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town of Bell is having its Veterans Day Parade starting at t 11 am. After the parade, everyone is invited to Otter Springs Park and Campground where admission is going to be free. This event is hosted by ForVets. There is going to be free food and refreshments. There are going to be fun activities and entertainment. Donations to the Gilchrist County WWII Memorial and the ForVets Camp Valor Project will be greatly appreciated.
The Williston High School Band and members of the WHS Army Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps are scheduled to be part of the Veterans Day program at the Heritage Park Pavilion at 6:30 pm. Everyone is invited. Williston Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat said he anticipates singers be part of the program as well, and he invites everyone to Williston that evening for the Veterans Day program.
Here are a few deals for active, inactive and retired military personnel Please note these are national dereals and participation may vary. We recommend checking with the location of any of these businesses to confirm they are participating in the promotions:
Applebee’s: Free “Thank You” meal from a special menu.
Chick-fil-A: Get a free meal at participating locations.
Chili’s: During lunch, get any lunch combo for free. For the dinner menu, the free meal is one of seven on a special menu.
Cracker Barrel: Free Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert. Bonus – If you’re not a vet, purchase the dessert (as well as by purchasing some other retail items), and the restaurant will donate 10% of proceeds to the USO.
Denny’s: Free Grand Slam breakfast from 5am-noon at participating locations.
Dunkin’ Donuts: Participating locations are offering up a free medium hot or iced coffee.
Golden Corral: On November 17 from 5-9pm (take note! It’s on a different day than everything else), get a free “Thank You” dinner at the buffet.
Great Clips: Stop by and get a free haircut if you’re a vet, or get a card to redeem for a free cut by December 31. Bonus – if you’re not a vet, you can still get a free haircut card to give to a vet when you purchase a trim for yourself.
IHOP: Get a free plate of Red, White, and Blue pancakes from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.