As Veterans Day approaches, you may be thinking about ways to teach kids about the importance of the day. There are many ways that they can pay tribute to America’s veterans, such as making cards and distributing them to relatives who are veterans or veterans at nursing homes and VA medical centers, or putting together care packages (a good use for excess Halloween candy!) for veterans stationed overseas. In addition, there are several events and memorial celebrations in the Hartford area beginning the weekend of November 8-9, and on the actual day, November 11. Use your discretion, as some of these activities may be more suitable for older children.
New England Air Museum Veterans Day Program
On Sunday, November 9, the New England Air Museum will hold its annual Veterans Day program. Visitors to the Air Museum will have the opportunity to meet and talk one-on-one with veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They can tour the Museum's three hangars with its extensive collection of vintage, including many military, aircraft. They will also have the chance to sit in the cockpits of a number of combat aircraft. Museum educators will provide hands-on activities for younger visitors and the Museum’s Flight Sim Spot full-flight simulator experience will be available throughout most of the day. A food vendor will be on site serving sandwiches, snacks and beverages.
New England Air Museum, 36 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks
The following museums will not be holding special programs but will be offering the following specials to Veterans:
The New Children’s Museum
On Saturday, November 8, Sunday, November 9, or Tuesday, November 11, all active and retired military personnel who visit the Museum will receive FREE admission and their guests will receive 50% off admission. Must show a valid Military I.D.
The New Children’s Museum, 950 Trout Brook Road, West Hartford
CT Science Center
On Veterans Day, November 11, admission is free for retired and active duty military personnel. Families receive 50% off admission and children under 3 are free.
CT Science Center, 250 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford
Veterans Day Concert, War and Remembrance
On November 9th, the Plainville Wind Ensemble will hold its 10th Annual Veterans Day Concert, War and Remembrance, in Welte Hall at Central Connecticut State University. The concert is intended to be family friendly and will benefit the United States Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” program, which collects new, unwrapped toys, for infants to teens, and distributes them as holiday gifts to children and families in need in the community. Admission is free; the gift of a new toy is encouraged.
Welte Hall at Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St., New Britain
Freedom Run 5K
Honor veterans and active duty military by running in the Freedom Run 5K, or at least cheer on those running! The race begins at 10 am on Sunday, November 9, at Hartford’s Riverside Park. There is a kids division for ages 5 and up, as well as a FitKids race for children at distances of 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, and 1 mile. Special pre-race tributes will remind us of our freedom and those who make it possible. There will be military divisions and awards. Proceeds go to Give2TheTroops.org, a non-profit organization that sends care packages and letters to deployed and wounded military troops in combat and disaster relief zones. Visit www.hartfordmarathon.com for registration and course information.
Hartford’s Riverside Park, 20 Leibert Road, Hartford
National Iwo Jima Memorial
On Veterans Day, November 11, there will be a memorial celebration at the National Iwo Jima Memorial. Beginning at 11 am, presentations about the lives of CT servicemen killed in action at the Battle of Iwo Jima will be followed by wreath laying, rifle salute, and taps by the Marine Corps League. Members of the Iwo Jima Foundation will also be on hand from 9 am - 3 pm to welcome visitors and provide information about Iwo Jima survivors. There will be displays of memorabilia and items for sale and giveaways.
National Iwo Jima Memorial, Ella Grass Boulevard, New Britain (exit 29 off of route 9)
Veterans Memorial, West Hartford Center
Also at 11 am on November 11, a memorial will be held at the Veterans Memorial in West Hartford Center. The guest speaker will be Command Sergeant Major James Peter M. Matthews who, during his 29-year service career, has made multiple deployments and Homeland Security missions. CSM Matthews has been awarded numerous military awards and decorations. In his civilian life, he is a career Firefighter, currently holding the rank of Fire Lieutenant, with the West Hartford Fire Department.
West Hartford Center, Farmington Avenue and North Main Street, West Hartford