NORTHWEST ARKANSAS — Veterans Day events throughout Northwest Arkansas start Friday and continue through Sunday, the actual holiday. The day, going back to 1918 at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of the year the world rejoiced and celebrated that at the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.
NorthWest Arkansas Community College will host its annual Veterans Day program 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 9) with Ric Clifford, a Vietnam era veteran and a member of the NWACC Board of Trustees, as the guest speaker. The program will be in the Student Center room 108 on the Bentonville campus. Memorabilia, including items belonging to faculty, staff, students and community members, will be displayed. Refreshments will be served following the program.
Clifford, a Rogers resident, served in the United States Air Force as a chapel management technician from 1970 to 1976 and achieved the rank of staff sergeant. Base assignments included Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss.; Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas; and Wiesbaden Air Base, Wiesbaden, Germany. Awards he received include the Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
NWACC is also hosting a Veterans Human Library Project every day this week through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Interpersonal Communications class, the project involves Northwest Arkansas community members having the opportunity to sit with U.S. veterans to ask questions and listen to stories about their life in the armed forces.
The American Legion Post 341 and the VFW Post 9063, both of Bella Vista, sponsor a Veterans' Day Ceremony every year. This year’s event starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Music from the Bella Vista Community Concert Band starts at 10 a.m. with the ceremony beginning at 11 a.m.
The event will be on Saturday rather than Sunday to not interfere with church-related activities, explained Jim Heath, commander of American Legion Post 341.
According to a press release from the Post, Major Mark Golaway will provide the invocation, the posting of colors and rifle salute will be from the Bella Vista Veterans Honor Guard.
The Ambassadors for Christ Choir will sing patriotic songs and the guest speaker will be Commander Mary Erdman, Commander of the American Legion Department of Arkansas.
“She is only the second woman to hold the post of State Commander,” Heath said.
For everyone who attends the ceremony, hot dogs, chips and a drink will be provided at Papa Mike's courtesy of Allen's Foods and Papa Mike's, immediately following the ceremony.
Everyone is asked to bring their own lawn chairs since we cannot provide enough folding chairs for everyone, Heath said.
The annual Veterans Day Parade will be 2:30 p.m. Sunday along Emma Avenue in downtown Springdale.
There will also be a meet and greet and children’s events at 1:30 p.m. at the train station on Emma before the parade.
This year’s parade will feature the traditional local school bands, the Highlander Bagpipers and local veterans and military units. It will once again feature local area school bands, the Highlander Bagpipers, and local area veterans and military units.
The parade is a long-time tradition in Northwest Arkansas but low attendance forced organizers to stop holding the event for a couple of years. Local parent Krystal Osbon of Fayetteville wanted a Veterans Day event to take her young family to attend and decided to help bring back the parade in 2010.
“My family is military from my dad to my brother and my husband served,” Osbon said. “I wanted my kids to know something about that.
“Nothing closes for Veterans Day,” she continued. “This holiday really is important and we need to say thank you.”
According to their Facebook page, the Ozark Mountains British Brass Band is hosting a Veteran’s Day concert 3 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 11) at Old High Middle School in Bentonville
Tickets are $8 and $5 for students if purchased in advance and $10 at the door. Children age 12 and younger are free. For advance tickets, call 479.855.0591 or 479.756.6453.
A Veteran’s Day concert will be 4 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Springdale (206 W. Johnson Ave.). Admission is free.