Veterans Day observances start Saturday in Grand Junction

Downtown parade to honor ‘Greatest Generation,' veterans who served in World War II

Veterans Day observances begin Saturday with the annual veterans parade through downtown Grand Junction and continue through the Nov. 11 holiday and to the end of the week.

The parade this year is geared to recognize veterans of World War II, the “Greatest Generation,” as it has become known.

Seven members of the Greatest Generation, six men and one woman, all of whom served in World War II, will serve as grand marshals for the parade.

The grand marshals are George Lewis, Vern Hubbard, Pat Elsberry, George Wheeler, Ernie Satterfield, Paul Kerian and Cal Davis.

The parade begins at 2 p.m. on Main Street and runs from Eighth to First streets with a reviewing stand at Fifth and Main streets.

Many in the parade will ride in World War II vintage vehicles.

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918,  or Nov. 11, which falls on Wednesday.

The observance of Veterans Day in the Grand Valley will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park in Fruita.

The commemoration will include a keynote speech by Julie Fuller, team leader at the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and remarks from retired Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Harry Hagaman.

The Grand Valley Combined Honor Guard and the Warrior Battalion, 38th Royal Color Guard of Central High School, will post and retire the colors while the Meistersingers of Grand Junction High School perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “In Flanders Field,” the poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae of the Canadian Army.

The VA Medical Center also will set up its avenue of flags for Veterans Day.

Two balls are dedicated to veterans next week.

The Marine Corps Military Ball takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Whiskey River, 490 Road 28 1/4, and the All Services Military Ball will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Two Rivers Convention Center. Brig. Gen. Thomas Mills, Commander of the Colorado Army National Guard, will be the keynote speaker for the latter.

Additional information is available at the Western Slope Veterans Cemetery, 263-8986.

Other Veterans Day events include a short program at Holy Family School, 786 Road 26 1/2, honoring veterans, and a celebration at St. Mary’s Advanced Medicine Pavilion, 750 Wellington Ave., from 2 to 4 p.m. The celebration will include presentations by war heroes and the Central High School ROTC and color guard. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served.

Veterans will be admitted free to all 42 Colorado state parks, and recreation-related fees for lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management will be waived that day for veterans.

Also, active-duty service members can eat free at Applebee’s restaurants, and the Canyon View Car Wash, 2258 Broadway, will offer free car washes to veterans on Veterans Day.

Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1247 in Grand Junction, 1404 Ute Ave., will put up flags at the Orchard Mesa Veterans Cemetery and will be selling Buddy poppies at various locations around the Grand Valley.

Buddy Poppies are symbolic of the blood shed in World War I by the Allies and are put together by disabled veterans. Funds from the sales assist disabled veterans and their families.


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