The United States celebrates Veterans Day thanks to President Woodrow Wilson.
When the nation observed the first Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, Wilson said:
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
World War I – the war to end all wars – was over at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month.
Today, Veterans Day is one of the few national holidays (like the 4th of July and Thanksgiving) still celebrated on the day it was proclaimed.
Accordingly, there are local service projects for and by veterans that need your support. Find the details below.
One is Wreaths Across America whose goal is to lay a wreath on every headstone at the Jacksonville National Cemetery during the holidays.
For more information, call 904-778-3709 or or visit wreathsacrossamericajacksonville.com/sponsorships.
This year Veterans Day is Monday. Check here for updates.
Take the opportunity to thank our veterans for their service.
We live in a free country. They're the reason.
- 4th Annual Moosehaven Chili Cook-Off – Sat., Nov. 9, 10 a.m., Judging at 11 a.m., Awards at 3 p.m. Moosehaven, 1701 Park Ave., Orange Park, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. All proceeds benefit Seamark Ranch. International Chili Society Regional Cook-off. People’s Choice Chili Judging only $5. Car & Bike Show, $20 to register show cars. For more information, please call Moosehaven at 904-278-1210 or visit www.moosehaven.org.
- Alachua County Annual Veterans Day Celebration – Special tribute of the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War – Mon., Nov. 11, 10:30 a.m. Freedom Community Center at Kanapaha Veterans Memorial Park, 7400 SW 41st Pl.,ainesville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Sky divers, flyover, drill team, flag ceremony, tribute poem, musical presentation, military & police displays and formal wreath laying ceremony. VA Medical Center will be on site providing array of services, and Veterans Row will be in full swing to provide guidance and assistance to Veterans and their families. Complimentary valet parking, musical entertainment and Gainesville High School Junior Navy ROTC BBQ. For more information, please call Jim Lynch at 352-538-3119.
- Armed Forces Salute – Sat., Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fort Clinch State Park, 2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach, Fla. Admission: $6 per vehicle for up to eight people. Admission into the fort is one canned food item per person, for the Barnabas Food Pantry. Enjoy a day filled with military history and displays from the Revolutionary War to present day while interacting with living historians from each major U.S. military conflict. Veterans and active duty military are invited to come dressed in uniform.Period music and firing demonstrations will also highlight the experience. In addition, participants can visit the Fort Clinch Canteen for a variety of refreshments. For more information, please call the park at 277-7274 or visit www.FloridaStateParks.org.
- Heroes Ride & Gala – Sat., Nov. 9, 5 p.m. Flagler County Government Services Building, 1769 E. Moody Blvd., Bunnell, Fla. Admission: Starts at $25 for the ride and $35 for the gala. A police-escorted motorcycle ride to benefit two area veterans’ organizations. Motorcyclists who participate in the ride portion of the event will leave Bunnell at 5:30 p.m. and arrive at the Coca-Cola Pavilion at Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach at 6 p.m. The gala is open to non-riders as well. For more information, please call 386-788-7700, or purchase tickets online at visit www.heroesrideandgala.com.
- Veterans Day Celebration Dinner – Sun., Nov. 10, Noon. Palm Coast VFW, 47 Old Kings Rd., Palm Coast, Fla. Admission: $5 for veterans, $10 general public. Program begins at 1 p.m., dinner is at 1:45. For more information, please call 386-446-8696.
- Veterans Day Ceremony – Mon., Nov. 11, 8:30 a.m. Heroes Park, 2860 Palm Coast Pkwy, Palm Coast, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. City of Palm Coast ceremony, music, presentation of memorial wreaths and speakers to honor military veterans. For more information, please call 386-986-2300.
- Veterans Day Ceremony & Program – Mon., Nov. 11, 11 a.m. Palm Coast VFW, 47 Old Kings Rd., Palm Coast, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Following this event will be the ribbon cutting to officially open our Warrior Room Museum. The museum exhibits were designed and built by our own veterans to honor and remember all veterans. There will be food available after the program. For more information, please call 386-446-8696.
- Veterans’ Day Ceremony Program – Mon., Nov. 11, 1 p.m. Veterans Park, Flagler Beach, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Refreshments following the ceremony, served in the Flagler Beach City Hall Commission Room.
- Veteran’s Day Military Recognition Display – Sat., Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History, Hull Rd. & SW 34th St., Gainesville, Fla. Admission: Call for more information. See below. Celebrate those who have served our country. The Florida Museum is honored to have this opportunity to thank our veterans, active military and their families. On loan from the Victory Museum, the display showcases collections that pay tribute to the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, call 352-273-2061.
- Veterans Day Ceremony – Mon., Nov. 11, 11 a.m. Veterans Memorial inside Magnolia Cemetery, Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Wreath laying and essay contest winners announced and read. Sponsored by the Historical Society of Orange Park.
- Veterans Day Community Band Concert – Sun., Nov. 10, 4 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 300 SW Second Ave., Gainesville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. On Sunday, November 10 at 4 p.m. Gainesville Community Band directed by Gerald Poe will present a Veterans Day concert at First Presbyterian Church. Included on this program are patriotic songs including The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, salute to the Armed Forces, and marches by John Philip Sousa. For more information, please call 352-378-1527.
- Veterans Day Parade – Sat., Nov. 9, 11 a.m., Ash & 11th Sts., Fernandina Beach, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Honoring all who served. Sponsored by American Legion Post 54, Fernandina Beach. Parade lines up at 10:30 a.m. at the baseball field on Ash and 11th streets. For more information, please call Cathy Dopson at 904-261-8473 or Lenora Staples at 904-261-5097.
- Veterans Day Weekend/Month at the Hall of Fame – Sat., Nov. 9, Sun., Nov. 10 & Nov. 11, 8 a.m. World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, 1 World Golf Pl., St. Augustine, Fla. Admission: FREE for veterans and their dependents. All guests of the Hall of Fame will be able to enjoy a special scavenger hunt highlighting golf’s relationship with the military in the Museum. For the rest of the month, all active duty military members and their dependents will receive free admission. For more information, please visit www.worldgolfhalloffame.org.