Gatlinburg – Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day

Honoring American Veterans of All Wars

11 a.m. - Ripley's Aquarium Plaza

Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 but fighting ended months earlier when an armistice (temporary cessation of hostilities) went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, a day set aside to honor World War I veterans.   However, after World War II occurred, veteran services organizations urged to have the name changed to Veterans Day, in order that the day honor American veterans of ALL wars.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance…”  Proper and widespread observance includes parades, flags displayed at half mast, and moments of silence.

To learn more about the history of Veterans Day, country-wide celebrations, and Veteran services, please visit the site which provided much of this information, The US Department of Veteran Affairs.

Gatlinburg is honored to hold the distinction of being a Regional Site for the Observance of Veterans Day, and invites all community members and visitors to gather for the ceremony. Observance begins at 11 a.m. Friday, November 11 at the Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza. This free-admission event will feature The Adjutant General of Tennessee, Major General Terry “Max” Haston, as keynote speaker. Other activities will include recognition of veterans, patriotic music, a military flyover, and an American Bald Eagle presentation. Your presence will be greatly appreciated by all veterans and their families in attendance.

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