With Veterans Day coming Nov. 11 and being observed the following day, numerous activities are being planned in Atlanta and Sandy Springs to honor military veterans.
Veterans Day was created with the armistice that ended World War I, which called for a ceasefire in 1918 effective at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which became Veterans Day.
World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola grants complimentary admission to all military members (active duty, reserves and retirees) year round, but to show gratitude on Veterans Day to those who serve our country, the attraction is extending a special offer to their loved ones as well.
Today through Nov. 11, members of the Armed Forces may purchase up to four half-price general admission tickets for their friends and family to join them in visiting the attraction. Tickets may be purchased with a valid Armed Forces ID card at the attraction’s ticketing windows.
Shane’s Rib Shack
Nov. 8 through 10, participating Shane’s Rib Shack locations will be honoring military personnel and veterans during its Military Appreciation Week and providing service men and women with a free sandwich combo.
The city of Sandy Springs will host its ninth annual Veterans Day Tribute Nov. 9 at a new venue, on the City Green at City Springs, and is expanding to include three family friendly events.
The city’s traditional tribute event will take place at 11:30 a.m. Retired Marines Corps Col. Jim Bacchus, who served in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, will be the keynote speaker.
Providing music will be the 116th Army Band Brass Quintet, and returning as emcee is U.S. Army veteran and retired WSB-TV anchor John Pruitt.
Immediately following the tribute, there will be a celebration honoring the 243rd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, including a traditional cake cutting, at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.
At 7 p.m., the public is invited back to the City Green for a concert featuring the Tom Yankton Band. Yankton, a former Rascal Flatts band member, and his group will perform popular songs and patriotic anthems.
All of the events are free and open to the public. Parking is available on-site in the underground parking decks.
The Disabled American Veterans 5K will take place Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. at Piedmont Park, at 1342 Worchester Drive in Midtown. Check-in starts at 7 a.m.
Attendees can walk, roll or motorcycle all the way down to the final line to honor the men and women who have served. Funds raised with registration fees go directly to the organization Disabled American Veterans, which helps more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.
Registration fees are $30 for adults running, walking, using wheelchairs or riding motorcycles and $15 for youth and VIP veterans. Veterans who do not want to buy an event T-shirt can participate for free. Online registration closes Nov. 7 at noon; after that, you can register during check-in on race day.
The Rockler Woodworking and Hardware store, 6690 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, will host a veterans pen-turning benefit Nov. 10. For $10, participants can turn their own pen to take home, and Rockler will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the National Veterans Foundation. The classes will be offered at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Because pen turning is relatively simple, it’s ideal for anyone who wishes to participate, including those with little or no prior woodworking experience. The foundation operates the only toll-free helpline for all U.S. veterans and their families for crisis management, referral needs and other services.
The 37th annual Georgia Veterans Day Parade will take place in downtown Atlanta Nov. 10 at 11:11 a.m. It will begin on Peachtree Street south of Ralph McGill/Ivan Allen Boulevard and end on Marietta Street at the Centennial Olympic Park Drive intersection. The parade will pass directly in front of World of Coca-Cola, where the reviewing stand will be located, on Baker Street.
Retired Col. Danny McKnight will serve as this year’s parade grand marshal and Freedom Ball keynote speaker.
Following the parade Nov. 10, a free Veterans Day Festival will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. in Pemberton Place, just outside of the World of Coca-Cola. The festival is open to the public and will feature a variety of exhibitor tents, as well as a performance by the 116th Army Band.
In honor of Veterans Day, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive in downtown Atlanta, will celebrate the country’s veterans and first responders with free admission Nov. 11 for all active, retired and reserve military personnel who show valid ID. Military families will receive $2 off general admission tickets.
It will also host several family events to honor veterans, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Imaginators will read “H is for Honor, A Military Family Alphabet” and conduct a Veterans Day parade as part of the Music & Movement program.
Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center will commemorate Veterans Day with a program Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. It is free and open to the public.
Billy Wells, the University of North Georgia’s senior vice president for leadership and social engagement, will give the keynote address. The ceremony will include a bagpipe presentation; the presentation of the colors by the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution; and Atlanta Opera soloist Timothy Miller performing the national anthem.
After the ceremony, guests can visit the Visual Vault inside Allen Atrium to view World War I objects and learn more about the center’s Veterans History Project.
The Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. in Midtown, will host Veterans Night Nov. 16, when active and retired military personnel will get two free tickets to one of the following: Friday Night Jazz at the High Museum of Art, Matthew Morrison’s concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra or “Knead” at the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage.
Also, a dedication ceremony for the new Veterans Alcove will take place at 7 p.m. with artist Steve Penley and his newest mural.