Every November 11th, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard veterans are publicly honored. Originally known as Armistice Day to honor WW I veterans only, in the early ‘50s it became Veterans Day to honor all veterans of every historical era. In Southern California, there is no shortage of opportunities to honor our veterans who gave so much to protect our country. From volunteering to solemn tributes, ceremonies and parades, this Veterans Day falls on a Monday, making it a three-day weekend for many. These are five of the best Veterans Day events in the Southland chosen for their unique and popular appeal.
Veterans Day Ceremony
6300 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Date: Nov. 11, 2013 at 11 a.m.
For over half a century, Forest Lawn has celebrated Veterans Day with patriotic music, formal ceremonies and well-known speakers at this free event. The annual ceremony set in the Hollywood Hills, is popular for its solemn and moving themes, and attracts hundreds every year who come to feel the spirit of those who have willingly defended the values of our nation. In addition, souvenirs reminiscent of the holiday will also be given out to commemorate the day. Golden Stars Skydiving Team will also make an appearance, staging an aerial performance which will include a full team of skydivers there to help provide some parachuting entertainment.
17th Annual Palm Springs Veterans Day Parade
Downtown Palm Springs
Palm Canyon Drive between Ramon & Alejo Roads
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Date: Nov. 11, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
The annual Palm Springs Veterans Day Parade is one of the largest and well-attended parades in the Southland. The parade pulls together all that would be expected of a Veterans Day including marching bands, drill teams, flag honor guards, military units and veterans groups who pull together a non-stop patriotic salute to all who have served in the military. Set in the downtown of Palm Springs and a short jaunt from the Los Angeles metro area, attending this traditional event will inspire a renewed sense of what it is to be an American. The parade has over 50 entries and ends with a post-parade concert and a fireworks show after sunset.
Veterans Day with Target in Los Angeles 2013
Valerio Elementary School
15035 Valerio St.
Van Nuys, CA 91405
Date: Nov. 9, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.
The Mission Continues is a patriotic organization that pairs with retailer Target for a great Veterans Day event in the Valley. In celebration of Veterans Day, Southlanders are invited to join together to revive the grounds of Valerio Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley which needs landscape improvements, outdoor painting and student seating and shelving built. It’s an opportunity to volunteer in the name of America’s veterans through community service. The event, sure to draw media attention, provides all supplies and free t-shirts as well.
Long Beach Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
6301 Myrtle Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90805
Date: Nov. 9, 2013 at 10 a.m. (Houghton Park at 12 p.m.)
After your popular Veterans Day parade replete with bands, military marchers, floats and more, cap it off with a post-parade celebration. At the end of the parade’s route, Houghton Park will be the venue of the holiday’s celebration. Ceremonies include the dedication of the new Veterans Mural, across from the Vietnam Memorial, and other patriotic activities. After the dedication, attendees can enjoy the annual Craft and Vendors Fair where food and gifts will be on sale.
San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade
Ritchie Valens Recreation Center and Park
10736 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Pacoima, CA 91331
Date: Nov. 11, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.
In remembrance of the original Armistice Day of 1918, the parade starts exactly at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. While more of a hometown parade, this widely popular parade and event is volunteer driven and is certainly not lacking in enthusiastic participation. Over 100 veterans groups, high school marching bands and active military personnel participate in the parade making it one of the largest events thrown to honor our veterans. A special information fair and related events will be held at the Ritchie Valens Recreation Center and Park at the parade’s ending point creating an opportunity for visitors to learn more about supporting our veteran heroes.