Celebrate Veterans Day virtually

By NIKKI WENTLING | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 10, 2020

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WASHINGTON — Veterans Day typically draws crowds of visitors to the nation’s capital and to events held across the country. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, celebrations this year will look different.  

Many of the usual celebrations — including parades, concerts and commemorations — have gone virtual. Here are some events you can tune into Wednesday. 

Opening of the National Native American Veterans Memorial: A new memorial to honor Native American veterans will be unveiled Wednesday on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington. The museum is offering a livestream of the event, which will include tributes to Native veterans and a tour of the memorial. 

Ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial Wall: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial announced that its usual Veterans Day events at the Wall would be held online this year, with a ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Musical guest Rockie Lynne will hold a mini-concert during the virtual commemoration. 

Tribute to World War II veterans: The National World War II Memorial will hold a commemoration at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday and are encouraging people to watch virtually. It will include remarks from World War II veteran Harry Miller, as well as leaders of the memorial foundation. There will also be a wreath-laying ceremony and music by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet. 

National Veterans Day Observance: Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is scheduled to host a scaled-down Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. 

Skydiving at the World War I Memorial: Twenty veterans, ages 28 to 92, will skydive Wednesday morning and land on the lawn of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo. The “Legacy Jump” will take place at 6:30 a.m. CT. Afterward, the memorial will host an outdoor ceremony at 10 a.m. with remarks from Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas and Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The ceremony will be live-streamed. 

Online ceremony from the National Veterans Memorial and Museum: The National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, will hold a live-streamed ceremony at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, with remarks from Montel Williams, a Marine Corps and Navy veteran and Emmy-winning talk show host. 

Wounded Warrior Project celebration: Former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer will host an online Wounded Warrior Project event at 11:30 a.m. ET Wednesday. There will be tributes to veterans, as well as musical performances by Sara Evans and Straight No Chaser. Those veterans tuning in will be encouraged to share their stories.

Parade in New York City: The usual large-scale Veterans Day parade in New York City was reconfigured this year. A convoy of 120 vehicles will roll down a portion of the traditional parade route at 12:30 p.m. ET. The event will be live-streamed. The NYC Vets Day Parade organizers are also offering a virtual parade on its social media accounts, starting at 8 a.m. 

Virtual parade from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America: IAVA organized a series of virtual Veterans Day parades that, combined, will total 2,093 miles. They asked members to “grab your flags, invite your friends” and create small, community parade experiences in their neighborhoods. 

Blue Angels Foundation virtual salute: The Blue Angels Foundation, which comprises former members of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, will hold a “Virtual Salute to Wounded Warriors” on Wednesday, with showings at 7 p.m. ET and again at 7 p.m. PT. The foundation has released few details about the event but have said it will include musical performances and exciting guests. 

Twitter: @nikkiwentling