In America, we fly our flags high each day to celebrate our freedom, and to remember those who have fought and given their lives for that same privilege. November 11 has been set aside each year as Veterans Day– -a day on which we put special emphasis on our fallen and past heroes. If you will be visiting Gatlinburg this Veterans Day, you can take time to remember our veterans during a special ceremony.
Where: Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
When: 11 am, November 11
Who: Anyone who wishes to honor our veterans; Admission is free
Gatlinburg is among only 2 cities in Tennessee to be recognized as an official Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day. This is a prestigious distinction, given by the Department of Veterans Affairs, to only 41 sites total in the United States. The distinction affiliates this celebration with the one occurring at the National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery. A number of ceremonies will be performed during the celebration, including music by bands from Gatlinburg-Pittman High School and Walters State Community College. There will also be a military flyover, a bald eagle presentation, and the recognition of present veterans.
George Hawkins, Special Events Manager for the city of Gatlinburg, has said, “Our veterans deserve our gratitude and coming to Gatlinburg for this event is one of the many, many ways we can show our support and to thank the veterans.” Hawkins also pointed out that, “While it’s very important for us to remember those who gave their lives to protect our nation, Veterans Day is the holiday dedicated to letting the surviving veterans know how much we appreciate them.”
The Gatlinburg Veterans Day Celebration will be an incredible way to not only honor our veterans, but to also learn more about what they have done for us. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is the time that marks the exact moment that World War I ended in 1918. Celebrating at this time on this day is a very moving experience, and although this is the time we have chosen to set aside for this remembrance, we should also celebrate and honor our veterans every other day of the year.