Here's one Middletown mom's guide to events on Aquidneck Island and nearby communities on Veteran's Day, with a special emphasis on area activities for military families and veterans alike. Some are just a short drive away in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts:
- 8 a.m. Portsmouth Town Hall: Portsmouth VFW and Portsmouth American Legion #18 will hold a joint meeting with services to follow at 9:30 a.m. THE DISH: The meeting includes a special presentation by "Canine for Combat Veterans," at 9 a.m. and a wreath laying ceremony at 9:30 am.
- 11 a.m. Newport City Hall (outside): Captain James Cunha, a Rhode Island native and commanding officer of the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Naval Station Newport, will be the guest speaker at the Veterans Day ceremony sponsored by the United Veterans Council of Newport County and the Newport VFW. Other invited guests to mark the occasion include the Newport Artillery Company, the Rogers High School Army Junior ROTC, various veterans organizations of Newport County, clergy, city and legislative officials and The Rev. Matthew J. Davis, the pastor of St. Paul's Church in Newport and chaplain of Newport American Legion, who will deliver the invocation and benediction prayers. THE DISH: Besides remembering and honoring veterans, you can do some fall cleaning. Do you have any flags that are worn, faded or in need of disposal? They aren't supposed to be thrown away like trash. The symbol of our nation requires special honors. Bring your old flags to this event. A container will be available to collect these flags for a proper retirement and disposal during a future ceremony by local veterans groups. This free event is open for all to attend.
- 12:30-2:30 p.m. Miantonomi Memorial Park on Girard Avenue, Newport: The World War I stone tower will be open to the public weather permitting. THE DISH: Check out that view! Visitors should wear suitable shoes for climbing the stairs and be advised the climb is not recommended for small children. Bundle up!
OPEN TO ALL. Want to eat out and support your local servicemen and women? Dine Out for a cause at the 99 Restaurant on the Connell Highway in Newport. Just print out this flyer and bring it with you, and The 99 with donate 15% of your purchase to Operation Homefront: New England. Operation Homefront donates backpacks and other support services to local military children with deployed parents.
- Feel like staying in with the family but want to celebrate? Check out: AMC's Veterans Day Movie Marathon-- starting at 10 a.m. All your favorite war movies on one channel all day. Grab your popcorn and hang out. (Check your local listings.)
- Can't get enough of Veterans Day? There is still one more chance to celebrate and honor our troops. A Post Veterans Day tribute to our troops in honor of Veterans Day: Check out the New York Giants/Dallas Cowboys football game, from Giants Stadium, Nov. 14th. Navy Band Northeast is scheduled to perform during the game. (Check your local listings for game time and channel.)
across the Bridge:
- Who doesn't love a parade? Local Aquidneck Island service members will march in the following parades occurring off island: North Kingston Veterans Day Parade from 10 a.m., Wilson Park, Wickford; Southern Kingston Veterans Day Parade from 10 a.m., ceremony in Saugatucket Park to follow beginning at 11 a.m.
- Remember: ALL National parks, forests and monuments offer free admission to all on Veterans Day.
- Special Event for Military Children: Veterans Day Camp at URI's W. Alton Jones Campus, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp is open first to children of deployed service members and any available spots are open to children of any active duty service member. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Check out the URI 4H's website for more information, and look under "operation military kids."
- Special Event: Battleship Cove Historic Site, Fall River, MA. Free admission and a ceremony is offered to active and reserve military, as well as veterans. Contact Battleship Cove for more details.
Special Event: The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) presents the world-famous Radio City Rockettes. U.S. Senator Jack Reed teams up with the Rockettes to salute Rhode Island's service men and women, at 7:30 Providence. Special tickets are available for local military members and their families. Stop by Naval Station Newport ITT office for availability.
And remember the whole point of Veterans Day is to thank and remember our troops. November is Military Family Month and its a great chance to thank our local troops and their families for their service!