Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day is a U.S. holiday observed annually on November 11, to honor military veterans. It coincides with holidays held in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
Distinct from Memorial Day, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service.
Oklahoma City celebrates the day and honors veterans with parades and other special events that honor our military and the sacrifices made for our freedom.
Here are a few of our favorite events that honor those who have served;
The Oklahoma History Center is hosting a Veterans Day Recognition event on Nov. 8 at 11 a.m., Devon Great Hall, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. The ceremony features presentations, music by the 145th Army Band, and a color guard by Honoring America’s Warriors. Guests are invited to view the History Center’s exhibit “Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam,” which closes Nov. 30. The event is free and open to the public. Veterans and dependents with ID receive free admission to the Oklahoma History Center year-round.
A special recognition program is scheduled for Friday, November 8, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. in the OKC VA Medical Center’s Health Wing. The guest speaker will be Dr. Dutch Doerman, Psychologist with the Substance Treatment and Recovery Program at the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System. A reception and visits to the patient wards will follow immediately after the program. Read more here.
On Nov. 10 at 3 p.m., the Oklahoma City Symphonic Band hosts “A Musical Tribute to our Veterans” at Oklahoma City University’s Petree Recital Hall, 2501 N. Blackwelder. The annual concert will feature patriotic music, concert band repertoire, a trumpet soloist, and a color guard. Admission is free.
The 45th Infantry Division Museum kicks off their Veterans Day event at 10 a.m., Nov. 11 with a booming salute provided by a World War II anti-tank gun. The ceremony continues with music by the 145th Army Band, a guest speaker, and Massing of the Color. The museum and exhibits will be open all day. Admission is free year-round.
Midwest City – home of Tinker Air Force Base – will hold its annual Veterans Day Parade Nov. 11 featuring floats, car clubs, marching bands and more! The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Century Boulevard and S.E. 15th Street and travel east to Douglas Boulevard and North to Reno Avenue, ending at Morris McGee Drive and Reno Avenue.
Top off your Veterans Day with free or reduced-price menu items at restaurants across Oklahoma City. Check out the following website for a restaurant list: themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts.
Many of OKC’s most popular attractions offer discounts to veterans throughout the year. We advise that you call ahead before your visit. There are also many OKC-area business that offer discounts to veterans, such as Black Scintilla boutique in Midtown.