The good news is that there are plenty of events happening today that will allow residents of northern Nevada to pay their respects to those who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, defending the honor of Lady Liberty.
Reno’s Veterans Day parade will kick off at 11 a.m. in downtown and travel north on Virginia Street beginning at Court Street and ending at Fifth Street. It is expected to last about an hour and a half.
City officials expect this year’s parade to be the biggest yet, with more than 3,000 participating, including about 2,100 ROTC youth and an expected turnout of more than 10,000 people.
Two grand marshals — Margaret Peggy Fish, a WWII Marine vet, and Thomas Okumura, a WWII Army vet — will host this year’s parade. In addition, six bands from local area schools will march in the parade.
New to this year’s parade is a national commemoration of all American soldiers who have died in wars in the last 10 years. Reno will join municipalities across the country for the Remembrance Day National Honor Roll Call, where the names of more than 6,300 fallen soldiers will be read beginning at 7 a.m. at the City Hall plaza downtown. Twenty-eight volunteers will read the names in 15-minute intervals, according to Peggy Nelson-Aguilar with the Reno parks department.
A moment of silence will be had at 11 a.m., with the parade to begin immediately following.
Virginia City also will hold a Veterans Day parade beginning at noon and marching along C Street, the city’s main thoroughfare.
In Sparks, numerous banners will grace Victorian Avenue and the plaza square and will feature the names and photos of military service personnel from the Truckee Meadows. The banners will be taken down shortly after Veterans Day to be protected from the cold winter months, and will be reinstalled in the spring.
“As we approach Veterans Day, this is a wonderful tribute to all the men and women who are defending our nation so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today,” said Sparks Mayor Geno Martini. “We are very proud and honored to salute our troops in this way.”
The city of Sparks has partnered with Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., a veterans service organization supporting their military sons and daughters while promoting patriotism, and has installed the banners at the Victorian Square Plaza in front of the Cinemark Movie Theater, and along Victorian Avenue between McCarran Boulevard and Pyramid Way.
Donations from proud citizens throughout the area paid for the banners and The Flag Store in Sparks provided the banners at cost.
Meanwhile, the Washoe Republican Women (WRW) will organize a lunch for local veterans. To show gratitude to service men and women, the WRW is providing a complimentary lunch at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino to a group of 65 local veterans. WRW has been supporting this chosen group of Veterans for
the past two years with dental care services through the Adopt-A-Vet
Dental program, Aces baseball games, clothing, household goods,
toiletries and gift cards at Christmas.
WRW has adopted these local veterans and the Adopt-A-Vet Dental Program as its “Caring for America Project.” WRW held a summer fundraiser for the Adopt-A-Vet Dental Program, which provides dental health care for veterans donated by local dentists and dental service providers.
The Veterans Guest House in Reno will hold a ribbon-cutting event at 2 p.m. to unveil a newly remodeled house to be used as a “home away from home” for vets receiving medical care in the area. A balloon release will also be held at 10 a.m. to commemorate those Vietnam vets affected by Agent Orange. The Veterans Guest House is located at 880 Locust St.
The Sparks Heritage Museum is offering free admission to veterans all weekend long. For more information, call 355-1144 or visit www.sparksmuseum.org.
Finally, for those who want to get out after the parade concludes, individual day fees will be waived all weekend at Bureau of Land Management recreation areas throughout the state. Some fees, however, will remain, such as camping, cabin rentals and group fees.
Veterans Day is a national holiday. Local, state and federal government offices will be closed. This includes the DMV and branches of the Washoe County Library.
A number of chain restaurants are offering free meals today to veterans with proof of military service. For a full list of participating restaurants, visit http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts.