This Veterans Day is especially meaningful as it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. On the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Allied nations and Germany brought what was then known as “The Great War” to a standstill when they worked out an a ceasefire on both sides. Thus, November 11 officially became a national holiday in 1938 to celebrate the men and women who have served in the armed forces.
Veterans Day this year falls on Sunday, giving Denverites the entire weekend to pay respect those who put their lives at risk to ensure our safety. Here are five ways to celebrate this anniversary and honor veterans throughout the Mile High City.
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The Veterans Day Parade, Festival, Run | November 10 and 11
The annual Veterans Day Parade, expected to draw more than 40,000 spectators, kicks off this trio of events—all hosted by the Colorado Veterans Project—at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 10. A free, family-friendly festival will follow in Civic Center Park, boasting live music, military displays, and food trucks. If you want to enjoy the food guilt-free, register for the 10th annual Denver Veterans Day 5K/10K, beginning Sunday morning at 8 a.m. at City Park.
Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens | through November 11
Following the publication of wartime poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, the red poppy became the official symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers. In 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) started the Buddy Poppy Program to provide financial assistance to veterans. This year, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the end of WWI, the VFW commissioned disabled veterans in the Hot Shop Heroes program to create 100 glass poppies, which are on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The poppies are also for sale and all proceeds will benefit the VFW. On November 11, active military members and veterans can enjoy free admission to the Gardens, which will feature guest speakers as well as a moment of silence at 11:11 a.m.
Take a Tour of Fort Logan Cemetery | November 10
Fort Logan Cemetery is the final resting place of thousands of veterans. This year, for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, TEDxMileHigh is teaming up with University of Denver grad students and professors to guide visitors through the cemetery. The tour is free, but spaces are limited so be sure to register in advance. Tour guides will share stories of the soldiers interred at Fort Logan who fought and died protecting their country. Afterward, visit Anderson Academic Commons at the University of Denver for the free, student-created exhibit “More than a Headstone: The Lives and Legacies of Veterans Buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery”.
Deals For Vets | November 11
If you’re an active military member or veteran, there are discounts and freebies to be enjoyed all over the Mile High City. On November 11, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is giving all veterans and active-duty service members free entry to all 41 state parks, while many Colorado ski resorts are honoring Veterans Day with discounted season passes and lift tickets for the 2018–19 season. On top of countless national food chains offering discounts and freebies, all of Denver’s TAG Restaurant Group eateries—with the exception of FNG, which will be offering their discount on Veterans Day—are offering vets a 50 percent discount on their entire check on Monday, November 12. Veterans and active-military members traveling that day can also stop by the Denver International Airport concourse A-located ChopHouse for a free Budweiser Barbecue Cheddar Burger.
Donate to Organizations that Support Veterans
Colorado is brimming with organizations that support and benefit veterans both in and out of state. Check out Colorado Gives to find one you’d like to donate to or volunteer with.