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Here in Hawaii, with its strong military presence, we take our Veterans Day very seriously. So, if you’re visiting soon, you’ll notice an abundance of events and activities to celebrate this very important holiday.
Here’s a look at the Top 5 upcoming Veterans Day events happening around Hawaii:
1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island) or Haleakala National Park (Maui): Each year, the federal government waives entrance fees for all its National Parks on Veterans Day, and Hawaii VolacanoesNational Park and Haleakala National park are included. Visiting a National Park is a great way to spend Veterans Day and support our nation’s efforts to preserve some of its most pristine land. In fact, the National Park Service has strong roots in the military. The first park rangers were soldiers. The uniform, especially the ranger hat, still reflects the Cavalry units that protected national parks until the creation of the National Park Service in 1916. And, today, more than 17 percent of National Park Service employees, nationwide, are veterans. When you book a Big Island Volcano Tour through Hawaii Aloha Travel, you won’t have to worry about transportation because your price includes airfare from Honolulu to Hilo and ground transportation to all excursions.
2. Pearl Harbor/Battleship Missouri: Being at Pearl Harbor on Veterans Day is always a memorable experience, and this year is no different. The Battleship Missouri Memorial is the venue for this year’s Veterans Day Sunset Ceremony. The event will take place at the Fantail of the Battleship Missouri at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 11th (Veterans Day). This year, the Battleship Missouri dedicates our ceremony to the veterans of the Vietnam War whose sacrifice and commitment to freedom align directly with the Battleship Missouri’s legacy of peace. In addition to the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II, 2015 also marks the 40th Anniversary of the End of the Vietnam War. Although not historically engaged in this conflict, as an internationally recognized symbol of enduring peace, the Battleship Missouri Memorial honors all veterans for their bravery, duty, and discipline.
3. Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery: Each year, the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe is the background for the Governor’s Veterans Day Ceremony. This year’s event is “Veterans: A Lifetime of Service. The program begins at 12:45 p.m. with a musical prelude by the 111th Army Band of the Hawaii Army National Guard, followed by a conch shell opening featuring Kahu Manu Mook. The parade of flags and presentation of lei will be carried out by various veterans’ organizations. Governor Ige will be travelling and therefore, Lt. Gov. Tsutsui will provide the keynote address. A rifle salute will be performed by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s Honor Guard followed by TAPS by the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 111th Army Band. Civilian attendees are asked to wear aloha attire. Military attendees are asked to dress in Class B or equivalent attire.
4. Veterans Day Parade in Hilo/Veterans Day Parade in Wahiawa: If you’re in Hilo this weekend, you won’t want to miss the parade of the year! The 2015 Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade’s theme this year is “Celebrate Service.” Slated for Nov. 7 at 10 a.m., the parade will travel through the streets of Downtown Hilo. On Oahu, you can check-out the Wahiawa Lions Club 69th annual Veterans Day parade in Wahiawa. It begins at 10:00 a.m. at Kaala School and ends at Wahiawa District Park.
5. Kauai Veterans Day Hoolaulea and Parade: Celebrate Veterans Day Kauai-style this weekend when you attend the Kauai Veterans Day Hoolualea and Parade. The event will take place Nov. 7th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Rice St. in Lihue. Don your red, white, and blue for this amazing event, which features entertainment, dignitaries, foods, crafts and information booths and exhibits. In addition to the festivities, many of the island’s military veterans, state and county leaders will attend. And, you will be treated to a beautiful array of float/vehicle decorated along with high school bands, and community marching/walking units. Admission is free.
If you’re visiting Hawaii over Veterans Day (or just before), you’ll find there’s tons of parades and activities planned to celebrate the holiday. So, honor your veterans by taking the time to attend one of these amazing events while you’re in Hawaii.