Veterans Day celebrations

Honoring those who served
By Stacy Cummings

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Illustration by Dylan Lee Hodges.

November is a month of caring and honor as we begin to celebrate past and present American soldiers. Veterans Day was created in celebration of the end of World War I when an unknown American Solder was buried becoming the face of dignity and respect for all veterans in America. The entombment of this fallen soldier is now known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Veterans Day began with the ending of World War I, which ended at 11 a.m., November 11th. Also known as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Taking a few years to become a national holiday, it is for this reason that we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th in honor of all who have served as well as those who are still serving.

Some veterans such as Marine veteran Marcus Miller, 24, celebrate Veterans Day with a small gesture.

“The way I celebrate along with Memorial Day is by having a drink for the ones who are away and the ones who will not be coming home,” said Miller.

Even some restaurants, such as Applebee’s, take part in celebrating the holiday. Applebee’s is always a popular place to dine on November 11th as it provides free meals to all service members for Veterans Day. Every year they have been consistently packed on this day from the time they open at 11 a.m. to the time they close at midnight.

“It’s a positive way to give back to the people who helped fight for our freedom,” said Ariel Cox, a waitress at Applebee’s. “We have volunteers who help us keep all the side work caught up because we are so busy with all our vets.”

Applebee’s will provide veterans with a separate free Thank-You-Meal menu to order from which includes some of the restaurants most popular meals. Guests should provide proof of service which includes U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform, wearing uniform, DD214, Citation or Commendation, or Current Leave and Earnings Statement. 

“It’s a fantastic thing to do because these veterans deserve something to honor them,” said Gabe Burton, a waiter at Applebee’s. “They need to know they are appreciated and their service is appreciated.“ 

Veterans Day at Applebee’s brings in a lot of people with interesting stories and memories of past war experience.

“We get to hear a lot of stories and get to socialize with new people,” said Cox.

Indianapolis and IUPUI help in celebrating this national holiday by holding events for the public to participate in.

Mindi Brown, Information and Outreach Coordinator for the Office for Veterans and Military Personnel, states that IUPUI will be holding its own week-long-events in November to celebrate our veterans.The public is welcome to attend.

November 10th starts off the week-long celebration with a luncheon. Come join the Veterans@IUPUI, the student veterans group, in the game room at the Campus Center.

November 11th is the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony in the Atrium of the Campus Center. The Eyes Wide Open Boot exhibit will be included again this year. People can come at 11 a.m. for the OVMP ceremony which will include a speaker and color guard.

November 12th is when the Veterans Appreciation Luncheon will be held in the Campus Center at 11 a.m. This event is invite only. Those who would like to be invited should email Mindi Brown at melbrown@iupui.edu.

November 13th holds a Veterans Resource and Information Fair in the Atrium of the Campus Center. Various veteran related organizations will have information tables.

November 14th is spent doing a service project that will be determined by the IUPUI Office for Veterans and Military Personnel. This remains TBD as of now but will be posted on the IUPUI’s veteran’s website shortly.

All event information will appear in full on the IUPUI veteran’s website before the dates above. Those interested should be able to see this information soon at The Office of Veterans and Military Personnel.

“We put a lot of time, effort and love into honoring our student and staff veterans the week of Veterans Day,” said Brown.

Indianapolis will also be holding a few special events of its own on November 11th to celebrate all veterans as well. This day will include the Musical Prelude and Memorial Service events at the Indiana War Memorial starting at 10:30 a.m. The Veterans Day Parade follows after starting at 11:45 a.m. in downtown Indianapolis. All day’s event are free and open to the public.

At the end of the day, the 49th Annual Veterans Day Banquet will be held at the Primo Banquet Hall and Conference Center ranging from $15-$30 a ticket. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner at 6:30 p.m. This program will include several awards such as the Military Achievement Awards, Schuchmann Boy Scout Leadership Award, Walker Girl Scout Leadership Award and others.