November 11th is Veterans Day. While Memorial Day, occurring every year on the last Monday of May, is a tribute to the members of the military who died in combat, Veterans Day celebrates the members of the armed forces who are still with us. Starting in 1919, when Woodrow Wilson dedicated the first Veterans Day after WWI, American have celebrated the hard work and commitment of these brave men and women. These are family, friends and neighbors who dedicated their lives to a job most of us couldn’t do. Minnesota honors them with these Veterans Day events.
Veterans Day USA 5k
1360 Lexington Parkway N.
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Date: Nov. 10, 2013 at 9 a.m.
Picturesque Lake Como in Saint Paul is the backdrop for this 5k run. Those participating will receive a commemorative race t-shirt and race treats, along with the satisfaction of participating in a tribute to Minnesota’s veterans. Is there a better reason to run around Lake Como? There is also a 1.5-mile fitness walk for those looking to participate but unable to run. But you don’t have to participate to support the veterans. Everyone is welcome to join in the festivities and enjoy some Americana music while rooting for the runners.
Veterans Day Parade in St. Cloud
St. Cloud VA Medical Center
4801 Veterans Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Date: Nov. 10, 2013 at 1 p.m.
The 7th annual Veterans Day parade honors veterans from all across central Minnesota. Participants in the parade, veterans and those marching with tributes and banners will pass hundreds of observers as they move through the streets of St. Cloud. Starting at the VA Medical Center and ending at Apollo High School for a social with eats and treats, the parade will turn the streets into a colorful celebration of patriotism.
White Bear Lake Veterans Day Observance
Saint John in the Wilderness Episcopal Cemetery
2175 1st St.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Date: Nov. 11, 2013 at 2 p.m.
This is a rousing celebration held at St. John’s in the Wilderness Episcopal. The ceremony features bagpipes, buglers and other music as well as a three-rifle volley. Not to be confused with a 21-gun salute, which is reserved for presidents and heads of state, a three-rifle volley occurs for all members of service. The guest speaker this year is Lieutenant Colonel Stephen M. Burrgraf of the Minnesota National Guard. With the beautiful lake in the background, it will truly be a special event.
Plant a Flag for Freedom Veterans Day Salute
Heritage Park, downtown Wayzata
Corner of Wayzata Blvd. and Central Ave.
Wayzata, MN 55391
Date: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 at 11 a.m.
Plant a flag at beautiful Heritage Park in downtown Wayzata to honor Minnesota’s veterans. Hosted by the Lake Minnetonka Chapter/DAR (volunteers from which will be providing the flags), the veterans’ names will be posted on an honor board and dignitaries will also be present to salute the service of these brave men and women. Everyone, young or old, big or small, is invited to partake in this ceremony, and a prize will be awarded to the person who plants the most flags.
Duluth Veterans Day March
350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802
Date: Nov. 11, 2013 at 10 a.m.
The Duluth Veterans Day March has followed the same route through the city since WWII. The history speaks for itself. Members of the armed forces form up by branch, move down Superior Street from the historic Union Depot and end up at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Anyone looking to honor the members of the US armed forces is welcome to enjoy the parade and the refreshments provided by the DECC at the end of it.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.