The week-long event, billed as the largest Veterans Day celebration in the nation, features a host of activities for veterans and their families through Sunday. New this year is the Veterans Welcome Center, located at Missouri 165 and Green Mountain Drive.
Sponsored by the Department of Missouri Veterans of Foreign Wars, the center will serve free lunch to veterans ($1 for family members) throughout the week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by two hours of free entertainment.
Veterans also can sit down to free chow today through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Celebration City.
Free shows and ongoing activities abound — a sampling of events is included below. For an expanded list, visit www.bransonveterans.com or call the Branson Veterans Task Force at 337-8387.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
“Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors” book launch at Celebration City Theatre, 9-11 a.m. Six survivors of the Sunchon Tunnel Massacre during the Korean War are scheduled to attend. The event is free and open to the public. Call 230-5555 for more information.
Rose Petal Ceremony and Luncheon at Keeter Center, College of the Ozarks, 10:30 a.m. The Branson Women’s Veterans Committee will host the ceremony to honor women veterans who have died for their country. Following the ceremony is a luncheon with special guest speaker Lt. Col. Vicki Merryman, retired from the U.S. Army. The Rose Petal Ceremony is free of charge. The luncheon cost is $20 and reservations are required. Call 339-6823 for more information.
Opening Ceremony for the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 10:30 a.m. The wall is traditionally open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m. through Nov. 11, Veterans Day. Free for viewing to all. Call 337-7469 for more information.
United States Navy Drill Team at Branson High School Gym, 7:30 p.m. The United States Navy Ceremonial Guard, founded in 1931, will give a free performance. Call 337-8387 for more information.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Veterans Homecoming Meet and Greet Reception at the Mansion Entertainment and Media Center, 9 a.m. A reception honoring Branson Veterans Task Force’s guest of honor Eddie Beesley, Sue Downes and Christon Stone. Reception is free and informal, followed by a 10 a.m. showing of the musical “Celebrate America,” which is free for veterans, $32.50 for others. Call 239-1333 for more information.
POW/MIA Network’s Vietnam Memorial Wall Service at Welk Resort, 8 a.m. Program includes music by the LeCroy Sisters, wreath laying and special speakers. Call 336-4232 for more information.
Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives Luncheon at the All American Cafe, 10:30 a.m. Complimentary brunch for Gold and Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives. Call 337-8387 for more information.
Women Veterans and Tuskegee Airman Presentations at Celebration City, 9:30 a.m. Lt. Col. Vicki Merryman, Bronze Star recipient who served her country in the Army for two decades speaks at 9:30 a.m. George Boyd, Tuskegee Airman, will speak at 10:30 a.m. Call 230-5555 for more information.
Free Outdoor Concert by the 399th Army Band from Fort Leonard Wood at Factory Merchants Mall, 2 p.m. Call 337-8387 for more information.
Candlelight Military Memorial Service at Skyline Baptist Church, 6 p.m. Call 337-8387 for more information.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Korean War Veterans Association Mini-Reunion at Stone Castle Hotel, 9 a.m.-noon. Annual event honoring those serving during the “Forgotten War,” held in the Stonehenge Room. Call 365-1389 for more information.
Friday, November 9, 2007
11th Annual Military Gala and Banquet Saluting Special Operations at Chateau on the Lake. Evening includes Medal of Honor recognition, POW/MIA candlelight service, Special Operations salute, fireworks, Mozark MOAA’s True American Hero Award, Ambassador of Patriotism Award, entertainment and dancing. Advance reservations are required. Call 866-481-GALA for more information.
World War II Living History Encampment at Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, 9 a.m. The 84th Infantry Division will set up camp, re-enact battle, and display equipment, uniforms and weapons. Event lasts through Saturday. Call 337-8387 for more information.
Raising of the world’s largest flying American Flag at RFD TV The Theatre, 1 p.m. Call 332-2282 for more information.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Veterans and Active Duty Military Honor Day at the American Presidents Museum, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free for all veterans and active duty personnel to the museum. There will be a special display of World War II Pin-up Girl Art in the Gallery Hall. Call 334-8683 for more information.
Battle of the Branches Boxing Match at Eagle Plaza, noon to 3 p.m. Veterans are encouraged to cheer on the boxer representing his or her branch of service. Tickets are $10 each or $20 for VIP seating. Call 334-3693 for more information.
Luau and Marine Corps Birthday Celebration and Tuskegee Airmen Reunion at Chateau on the Lake, 6 p.m. Reservations required. Call 777-4063 or 336-6350 for more information.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
73rd Annual Veterans Day Parade, downtown Branson, 11 a.m. Sponsored by American Legion Post #220. Call 337-8387 for more information.
Tony Orlando Yellow Ribbon Show at Welk Resort Theatre, 2 p.m. Free tickets have all been reserved and may be picked up at the Welk Resort Theatre box office Nov. 1-9. Any tickets not claimed by 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 will be available at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 10 on a first come, first served basis. Call 337-7469 for more information.
Kickin’ Round at a Veterans Hoedown at Welk Resort Theatre Parking Lot, 5 p.m. The grand finale of Veterans Homecoming. Cost is $15 per person. Reservations are required. Call 339-4222 for more information.
Information courtesy of Springfield News-Leader