President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, as a day to reflect on the “heroism of those who died in the country’s service” during World War I. Congress made Armistice Day a legal holiday in 1938, then changed the holiday’s name to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor veterans of all wars.
Here are some local Veterans Day events:
NCSU run and ceremony: N.C. State University students, staff and faculty and ROTC cadets and midshipmen will gather at the Memorial Bell Tower to honor members of the armed services. The run begins at 6 p.m., followed by the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Both events are open to all. Cadets of the Air Force ROTC program will hold an overnight vigil at the Bell Tower beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Veterans reception in Zebulon: The town invites all veterans to attend a reception honoring the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces at 9 a.m. Friday at the Zebulon Community Center. Those interested in attending are asked to contact the center in advance at 919-823-0432.
The N.C. Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony: In downtown Raleigh. Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the south end of Fayetteville Street and proceeds north to the State Capitol. Gov. Bev Perdue will speak at the wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. on the north side of the Capitol. Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Irizarry II will serve as grand marshal.
Retirement of unserviceable U.S. flags by incineration: Ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at Franklin-Sloan VFW Post 7383 at 522 Reedy Creek Road in Cary. Unserviceable flags may be dropped off at Post 7383 any afternoon from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 919-655-5071 or visit www.caryvfw.org.
Chapel Hill Turkey Trot: Veterans will join UNC-Chapel Hill students and community at the campus’ annual Turkey Trot, a 5K fun run that starts at Rams Head Plaza and will benefit area homeless veterans. Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the run begins at 10 a.m. Participants can run for 5K or walk a mile. The event is open to everyone.
Durham veterans appreciation celebration: The event will be at 3:30 p.m. at Union Baptist Church, 904 N. Roxboro St. Veterans of all services and their families and guests are invited. Sponsored by the Durham Veterans Action Committee.
Veterans Day movie screening: “Doughboy,” the independent family drama about a young person learning about the sacrifices of our nation’s military will be shown at Raleighwood Cinema Grill, 6609 Falls of Neuse Road. Doors open at 1 p.m. and seating is limited. Proceeds will benefit the VFW Franklin-Sloan Post 7383.
Knightdale armed forces tribute: At 12:30 p.m. at the Blue Star Memorial on First Avenue downtown. Presented by the Two Green Thumbs Garden Club of Knightdale.
Garner Veterans Day observance: 3 p.m. at Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 West Garner Road. Reuben Young, secretary of the N.C. Department of Public Safety, will be keynote speaker. The Garner Magnet High School symphonic band will perform patriotic music starting at 2:30 p.m.
Veterans service at Stony Hill Baptist Church: The Stony Hill Community Veterans Service runs from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. at 7521 Stony Hill Road in Wake Forest. Dimitri M. Belmont, the senior Army instructor for the 124 cadets of the Wake Forest-Rolesville Cougar Battalion, will be the guest speaker and his cadets will present the colors. For information, call 919-556-5708 or visit www.stonyhill.org.
Veterans services at Living Word Family Church: At 9 and 11:15 a.m. at the church, 10520 Star Road in Wake Forest. For information, call 919-570-2007 or visit www.lwfc.org.
Wake Forest Veterans Day Ceremony: 11 a.m. at the Wake Forest Veterans’ Memorial at the Heritage Golf Course clubhouse, off Rogers Road.
Cary Family YMCA Veterans Day Ceremony: 10 a.m. by the flag pole for a flag-raising conducted by the Cary American Legion Post 67 Color Guard. A reception will follow in the lobby.
Veterans Day ceremony at UNC-Chapel Hill: 11 a.m. at Hill Hall at 145 E. Cameron Ave. Keynote speaker: retired U.S. Navy commander Marv McWherter of Mebane, quartermaster for Chapel Hill Post 9100 of the VFW. Sponsored by the Army, Air Force and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at UNC.
Johnston County Veterans Day celebration: 11 a.m. in the gymnasium at Smithfield-Selma High School. Sponsored by Johnston County Schools. All county veterans welcome to attend.
Veterans Day at St. Davids School: 1:30 p.m. at the school’s field, 3400 White Oak Road in Raleigh. The program is open to the public and includes a parade, remarks by a decorated Vietnam War veteran, music, professional skydivers and an equipment display from the National Guard. Before the ceremony, St. Davids School will hold a luncheon for veterans and current members of the armed forces and their families.
Meredith College honors women veterans: 4 p.m. in Jones Chapel, featuring Meredith College President Jo Allen, Brig. Gen. Norman C. Gaddis and Air Force veteran Ann Conde-Williams. Music provided by Professor Emeritus of Music David Lynch and the Meredith Chorale. Public is welcome.