How to Honor Veterans this Veterans Day Weekend
This year, Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, Nov. 11. But the holiday is more than just a long weekend. It is the day for Americans to honor and recognize the service of those who served in the armed forces. It differs from Memorial Day in that it honors veterans who are still living rather than those who died in service. There are several Veterans Day events scheduled throughout the greater Sacramento area this year where you can share your gratitude for the sacrifices our veterans made to protect our freedom.
Photo courtesy Steve Harriman via Facebook
Now in its ninth year, Sacramento’s Veterans Day Parade will be held Monday, Nov. 11 rain or shine. There’s a resource fair beginning at 9 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 10. The parade itself will begin at 11 a.m. and will travel up Capitol Mall between 3rd and 9th streets.
Photo courtesy Auburn Veterans Parade
Auburn has been honoring its veterans with its annual Veterans Day Parade since 1919. This year, the theme is “Celebrating the American Legion Centennial.” The parade begins at 10:50 a.m. and will travel up Lincoln Street to Central Square. At 11 a.m., there will be a brief ceremony at Central Square with the release of doves followed by a flyover, a three-volley rifle salute and TAPS. The parade will continue onto High Street and end at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. The first 500 veterans will be awarded a commemorative medal, and all attendees are invited to a free luncheon at the end of the parade route at Armory Hall.
Photo courtesy Davis Cemetery
Held at the Davis Cemetery, the Davis Veterans Day Ceremony will feature keynote speaker Bruce Carswell, a veteran of World War II. There will be performances by the Davis Brass Ensemble and the Davis High School Madrigal Choir, and soprano Carol Kessler will sing the National Anthem. In addition, local scouting troops will place flags on the graves of veterans. The event will be held Nov. 11 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Photo courtesy Rancho Cordova Community Council
Rancho Cordova will honor its veterans beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11 with an event at Cordova High School’s Performing Arts Center. The event consists of a memorial brick dedication ceremony and keynote remarks by David Stockwell, director of the VA Northern California Healthcare System. During the event, the Rancho Cordova River City Concert Band will be performing patriotic music.
Photo courtesy El Dorado County Veterans Alliance
El Dorado County veterans and their families will be honored Monday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the El Dorado County Veterans Monument in Placerville. The event features a parade of flags led by local veterans and youth organization, a flyover by WWII Warbirds, including a missing man formation, dedication of a bench honoring Nisei veterans, and presentation of the Veteran of the Year. In addition, the Ponderosa High School Chorus will perform patriotic choral songs.
Other Ways to Honor Veterans
If you’re unable to attend one of the above community events this year, there are other ways to honor our veterans. Following are some ideas.
- Donate to a veteran organization. Some to consider are Wounded Warrior Family Support, Semper Fi Fund, Fisher House Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation. You can also make non-cash donations to the VA Northern California Health Care System.
- Send a letter or care package to soldier or veteran. Local organizations include Sacramento Blue Star Moms based in Rocklin and Project Thank You in Plymouth.
- Volunteer. The VA Northern California Health Care System has many opportunities to volunteer. Assignments include driving and escorting patients, working the information desk, and making phone calls, among others. You can also search on Volunteer Match to find opportunities near you.
- Support veteran-friendly businesses. Many national retailers, including Lowe’s, Target and Costco, have discounts for veterans and their families. Others, such as Starbucks and Home Depot, are committed to hiring veterans.
- Thank a veteran. It sounds simple, but simply saying “thank you” to a veteran goes a long way. Ask a veteran to share their stories and let them know you are grateful for their service.