Community honors veterans for several days with patriotic events
One hundred and one years ago, Armistice Day celebrated the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars” on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The day morphed into Veterans’ Day in 1954 to honor American veterans from all wars and it is observed Nov. 11, regardless of the day of the week in which it falls.
This year, Veterans’ Day falls on a Monday, which means there should be a full weekend-plus plethora of patriotic activities to attend.
The activities officially begin at
• Saturday, Nov. 2. At 5 p.m., a special Tribute to Veterans and Military Dinner and Gala will be held at the Melbourne Rialto Hilton. Speakers include nationally known figures, as well as Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Lt. Col. Tim Thomas, the JROTC leader at Viera High School and a councilman for the City of Melbourne. Tickets are $75. Proceeds benefit various veteran groups. Call 321-727-1212 for tickets and more information.
• Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 6 and 7. At 7:30 p.m., the Melbourne Municipal Band celebrates veterans with “Let Freedom Ring,” a pair of patriotic concerts at Melbourne Auditorium at 625 Hibiscus Blvd. Admission is free.
For more information, call 321-724-0555 or go to melbournemunicipalband.org.
• Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9 and 10. The Valiant Air Command Warbird Air Museum at 6600 Tico Road in Titusville will host an open house from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. It will feature aircraft fly-bys, static displays with combat pilots, radio-controlled model planes, jungle adventures, a petting zoo, pony rides and many vendors. Admission is free for veterans, active duty military and Florida residents. Go to valiantaircommand.com for more information.
• Saturday and Monday, Nov. 9 and 11. Brevard Zoo, at 8225 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne, will offer complimentary general admission to active duty military and veterans. In the event a service member is deployed overseas, the zoo will admit their spouse at no charge. Proof of military service is required. For more details, go to brevardzoo.org.
• Sunday, Nov. 10. At 8 a.m., the second annual TechRev’s Homestretch 5K for Homeless Vets run will begin at Hell ‘n Blazes Brewery in Downtown Melbourne and end there, too. Proceeds benefit the National Veterans Homeless Support. The entry fees are $30 for adults, $25 for children and $15 for active military and veterans. For information, go to runningzone.com.
• Sunday, Nov. 10. After the run, veterans and their families can head to the American Muscle Car Museum. See the more than 250 muscle cars on display and snag a special prize if you are lucky. Admission is free for veterans, active duty military and their families. It usually is not open to the general public. For information, go to americanmusclecarmuseum.com.
• Monday, Nov. 11. Observances begin at 9 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Center at 400 S. Sykes Creek Parkway on Merritt Island. Special events will be held to focus on supporting area veterans. Stay for lunch, courtesy of Chick-fil-A of Merritt Island, and plan on checking out the museum, its grounds and the vendors on site. For more information, call 321-453-1776 or go to veteransmemorialcenter.org.
• Monday, Nov. 11. Head to Palm Bay to catch the inaugural Veterans’ Day Parade at 9 a.m. The parade begins at City Hall at 120 Malabar Road and proceeds down Emerson Road to end at American Legion Post 117.
Contact the Tony Rosa Center on 321-952-3443 for more information.
• Thursday, Nov. 14. The Melbourne Vet Center will host a Veterans’ Day Ceremony and Resource Expo from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Center is at 2098 Sarno Road.
Contact Tabitha Miler at 321-254-3410 for more details.