The City of Philadelphia's Veterans Advisory Commission will be sponsoring its annual event in Washington Square at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Sunday.
There will be a wreath-laying ceremony, and Lucien E. Blackwell, former member of Congress and Korean War veteran, will be the guest speaker. Mayor Street and City Council President Anna Verna are also expected to attend.
"This year's ceremony promises to be much more poignant with what happened on Sept. 11 and the fact that we are bombing Afghanistan right now," said Tom Finnerty, director of the commission. "Being a veteran of the Vietnam War, it makes me feel good that people are showing their patriotism now with all that is going on."
There will also be an ecumenical service at the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors on Sunday. It will be led by the Rev. Clarence Pemberton. Afterward is the annual wreath-laying. The event will honor Philadelphia heroes past and present - as well as the Philadelphia police and firefighters who helped in New York City.
"Patriotic feelings will build up during the week, and as the war efforts continue - if there are any more deaths of servicemen - the whole sense of what a veteran is will be more relevant to all," said Michael Roepel, president of the Committee to Restore and Relocate the All Wars Memorial, which helped organize the ceremony.
"These troubled times make you realize that there are people who are defending our right to assemble and pray. People putting their lives on the lines for freedom - it really heightens your sense of appreciation."
Also on Sunday, there will be an observance at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial on Delaware Avenue, organized by the Purple Hearts. Each year a different Vietnam veterans organization puts on the event. Mayor Street is expected to attend this one as well.
Stephen Barol Goldstein's e-mail address is email@example.com.
If You Go
Veterans Day Observances (all three events are free):
Washington Square, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Sixth and Walnut Streets, 10 a.m. Sunday.
All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors, 20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The ecumenical prayer will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The observance will begin at 11 a.m.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Delaware Avenue (Columbus Boulevard) and Spruce Street, at noon Sunday.
Free Entrance at National Parks
Interior Secretary Gale Norton has announced that all entrance fees to national park areas will be waived Saturday through Monday, to honor veterans and terrorist attack victims and to inspire unity, hope and healing.
Area sites include the Edgar Allan Poe House, Hopewell Furnace, the Independence Hall complex, Valley Forge Park, Gloria Dei Church, Cliveden House, and Gettysburg Park and Cemetery. Information: www.nps.gov or www.nationalparks.org
Veterans Day Events
African American Museum in Philadelphia 7th & Arch Sts; 215-574-0380. www.aampmuseum.org "Affirming African American Veterans:" Honor Guard reenactment by Buffalo Soliders, tour of Affirmations show (2 p.m.). Veterans admitted free. 1-3 p.m. Sun. "Affirmations: Objects & Movements that Make Us Feel": show of divine inspirations, patriotic & nationalist symbols, social & civic alliances. Closes 9/9/02. $6; $4 seniors, ages 5-12; free ages under 5. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues-Sats, noon-5 p.m. Suns.
American Helicopter Museum & Education Center 1220 American Blvd, West Chester; 610-436-9600. www.helicoptermuseum.org. Saul Broudy presents folksongs of Vietnam War helicopter pilots. 2 p.m. Sun. Free admission all day Sun. $6; $5 ages 65 & up, $4 students; free ages under 2. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Weds-Sats, noon-5 p.m. Suns.
Atwater Kent Museum 15 S 7th St; 215-685-4830 Living history program by Noah Webster on Ned Hector, African American private in the American Revolution. 2 p.m. Sat. $3; $1.50 ages 3-12; free ages under 3. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Weds-Mons.
Delaware County Veterans Day Parade Proceeds from State & Edgmont Sts in Media, down State St, past Court House (Front & Veterans Sq). Ceremony with Grand Marshall & speaker, Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert follows; with songs by Lauren Hart & Sgt Kevin Pierce. 11 a.m. Mon. Veterans Ceremony: with West Point Chorus, high school bands, more. State & Jackson Sts, Media. 12:30 p.m. Sun. Phone: 610-565-7909.
*FREE* The Fountains at Cedar Parke 114 Hayes Mill Rd, Atco; 856-753-2000. Ceremony with VFW Color Guard, speakers, Army vehicles & war memorabilia displayed, presentation of $500 checks to American Red Cross, United Way in memory of firefighters, police, rescue personnel who lost their lives 9/11, placing of memorial wreaths, taps, prayer. 11 a.m. Mon.
*FREE* The Harry William's Building 9th Ave & Black Horse Pike, Runnemede; 856-939-2511. Installation of granite memorial monument honoring Runnemede vets & dedication of Pavilion at Veterans Green; music by John Philips Sousa-style band, gun salute, color guard. 1 p.m. Sun.
*FREE* Marine Corps Birthday Celebration Block party, Wildwood police bagpipe band, Medal of Honor winners, decorated veterans. Cookie's Tavern, 10th St & Oregon Ave; 610-692-1792. 11 a.m.-midnight Sat.
National Liberty Museum 321 Chestnut St; 215-925-2800 www.libertymuseum.org. Conflict resolution workshop, storytellers Debra Pieri, Robin Moore. 2 p.m. Sun. Veterans & their families admitted free: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun-Mon. $5; $4 seniors, $3 students, free for children accompanied by adult. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues-Suns.
National Museum of American Jewish History 55 N 5th St; 215-923-3811. www.nmajh.org. "Heart & History: Letters from World War II:" Readings by Theatre Ariel honoring Jewish vets. Free. 3 p.m. Sun. Judy Gelles, World War II photographs. Closes 1/13. $4; $3 seniors, students, ages 6 & over; free ages under 6. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mons-Thus, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fris, noon-5 p.m. Suns.
N J State Aquarium Delaware River between Federal St & Mickle Blvd, Camden; 800-616-5297. www.njaquarium.org Medal ceremony: flag salute, honor guard, reading of kids' essays on "What the U S Flag Means to Me Today." 11 a.m. 11/17. 1/2 off admission for vets with military ID. Sun-Thu & 11/16-17. $12.95; $11.45 ages 65 & over, students; $9.95 ages 3-11; free ages 2 & under. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mons-Fris, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sats-Suns.
Philadelphia Zoo 34th St & Girard Ave; 215-243-1100. www.philadelphiazoo.org "Military Appreciation Weekend:" Ceremony with Villanova U NROTC Color Guard, Temple U Brass Quintet; plus craft table, American flags, more. 1 p.m. Sun. Vets & immediate families admitted free Sat-Sun. $10.95; $7.95 ages 65 & up & ages 2-11; under age 2 free. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
*FREE* Sellersville Museum 120 E Church St, Sellersville; 215-257-5253. "World War II": exhibit of photographs, mementos, uniforms; veterans also discuss experiences. Noon-4 p.m. Sat-Sun.