2012 Veteran’s Day Parade in Denver (credit: CBS)
Veterans Day is Monday, November 11 and there are a lot of great celebrations happening the weekend before, plus on the day itself. With everything that has been going on throughout the world, it is so important to support our troops and pay our respects to the men and women who put their lives on the line for the freedoms that we take for granted every single day. It doesn’t matter if you come from a military family or not, as these events are open to everyone and anyone that wants to show their support for our troops. Here are some great ways to celebrate Veterans Day in Denver.
5th Annual Denver Veterans Day 5K
900 Auraria Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Date: Nov. 9, 2013
Show your support and pay homage to our nation’s heroes by participating in the annual 5K for Veterans Day. The run/walk will start at the Tivoli Commons at Auraria Campus and will take you through downtown following Speer Boulevard. It will finish at Civic Center Park, perfect for watching the parade. The 5K is open to everyone from children to runners, even your dog is welcome.
The family-friendly event includes camouflage face painting for the kids. If you want an extra challenge, bring your 25-pound backpack or rucksack for the Rucksack Challenge. You’ll get to race against the toughest competitors and there will be prizes for the Rucksack champion.
Veterans Day Parade
890 Auraria Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Date: Nov. 9, 2013
Bring the whole family downtown and find a good spot to sit for the annual Denver Veterans Day Parade. It is a wonderful way to honor the men and women who have fought for this country. It is always a humbling and moving parade to witness. The parade steps off at 10 a.m., following the Veterans Day 5K. Make sure to stick around after the parade for lots of family fun, food, music and more. There will even be a fireworks show once the sun goes down. This is a truly wonderful way to honor our military veterans with your whole family.
The Colorado Freedom Memorial
756 Telluride St.
Aurora, CO 80011
The Colorado Freedom Memorial is a beautiful glass monument, 12 feet tall, 95 feet wide. Inscribed in the glass are the names of nearly 6,000 Coloradans who were killed or are missing in action. Each panel is dedicated to a specific war. This stunning tribute was dedicated on May 26, 2013. There will eventually be a computer kiosk with a searchable database to make finding names on the wall a bit easier, but for now, you can still go and appreciate the quiet beauty of this solemn tribute. This is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the importance of supporting our military, spark some conversation and create an important learning moment.
Fort Logan National Cemetery
4400 W. Kenyon Ave.
Denver, CO 80236
Fort Logan Cemetery was named for Union General John Logan who served during the Civil War. The Fort was an active military fort, established in 1887, and in continuous use until the land was turned over to the state of Colorado. There are 17 different memorials at Fort Logan National Cemetery, commemorating soldiers from many different 20th Century wars. Walk down the memorial pathway and visit the different memorials from a variety of organizations, and you’ll surely be moved by these haunting tributes. There are also several Medal of Honor recipients buried at this cemetery, seven Buffalo Soldiers and a German POW.
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National Veterans Day Run
1700 N. York St.
Denver, CO 80205
Date: Nov. 11, 2013
There is another new run kicking off for Veterans Day in Denver. This one is the inaugural Denver National Veterans Day Run and it is a branch of several runs that are happening throughout the United States. There will be a timed 11K run, a timed 5K run and a one-mile family walk. Or you can just come out, cheer on the other runners and support our veterans. All participants will receive a commemorative pin, goodie bag and refreshments. For the 11K and 5K runners, there will also be a collectible Finisher’s Medal to remember this important race. The events all kick off bright and early at 7 a.m. and the different races have scattered starting times. If you enjoy races, then this is another wonderful way to support our troops while running for a great cause.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.