Americans annually honor veterans on Nov. 11, recognizing and thanking all who have served or are currently serving their country. Veterans Day should not be confused with Memorial Day, which remembers whose who gave their lives for their country.
Following are some of the special ways in which Chattanoogans will say thanks and honor veterans from Friday through Monday, Nov. 8-11.
THE TAPS PROJECT
* Where: Multiple locations around the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus
* When: 9:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8
* Admission: Free
* For more information: 423-425-4601
The fourth annual UTC Taps Project is designed to honor veterans for their service to our country.
Trumpet players will be strategically placed in and around the UTC campus. Beginning at 9:45 a.m., the first trumpeter will play "Taps." The second player will begin once the first player has arrived at a designated point in the music. As each player joins, the "Taps" melody slowly makes its way around campus, gradually engulfing the campus with the echoing sounds of the trumpet.
VETERANS DAY APPRECIATION EVENT
* Where: White Lightning Harley-Davidson, 7720 Lee Highway
* When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
* Admission: Free, donations accepted for Son Mission
* For more information: 423-892-4888
Christian Motorcycle Association members are grilling up all-American hamburgers and hot dogs for this veterans celebration. The party will include music by Blue Roads, a Blessing of the Bikes at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., tintype photography for veterans and raffles for a free oil change, free bike wash and $100 gift certificate.
'WE, THE MARINES' SCREENINGS
* Where: Tennessee Aquarium Imax 3D Theater, 201 Chestnut St.
* When: 11 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. Nov. 9; noon on Nov. 10; 11 a.m. and noon Nov. 11
* Admission: $11.95 adults, $9.95 children
* For more information: https://www.tnaqua.org/imax/we-the-marines
Special screenings of "We, The Marines" will take viewers on an action-packed adventure into the experience of becoming and serving as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor and former Marine Gene Hackman, the Imax film uses the giant screen to honor dedication, service and firsthand experiences in a moving tribute to the lives and legacy of the men and women who honor and defend our country.
There will be a USMC birthday cake-cutting ceremony after the Sunday noon showing.
A portion of the proceeds from the Aquarium's "We, The Marines" screenings — up to $5,000 — will be donated to the Southeast Tennessee unit of The Young Marines, a nonprofit youth education and service program for boys and girls.
' Where: Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.
' When: 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
* Admission: Free
* For more information: http://chattanooga symphony.org/
This marks the eighth year that Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is presenting a free Veterans Day concert. The CSO will be joined by the Lee University Singers, directed by Brad Moffett, for a program of patriotic classics such as "God Bless America," "Armed Forces Salute" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
The program will also include original works by local composers Kenyon Wilson, Douglas Hedwig, Tim Hinck and Jonathan McNair.
"We are honored to show our appreciation to veterans and active-duty service members with a free Veterans Day concert," says Kayoko Dan, CSO music director.
"This family-friendly event will consist of patriotic music to celebrate America and its freedom, as well as a sing-along to some audience favorites."
VETERANS DAY SERVICE
* Where: Chattanooga National Cemetery, 1200 Bailey Ave.
* When: 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11
* Admission: Free
* For more information: 423-855-6590
Maj. Kevin Beavers, U.S. Army and Military Science Department head at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will be the keynote speaker.
American Legion Post 95 Band will provide a musical medley and the Choo Choo Chorus will sing.
Due to parking restrictions at the cemetery, only vehicles with a handicapped pass or plate will be allowed to park at the cemetery. All other attendees will park at Redemption to the Nations Church, 1908 Bailey Ave., or the National Guard Armory on Holtzclaw Avenue and ride a bus to and from the cemetery.
Chattanooga National Cemetery staff will raise 208 American flags on both sides of the cemetery roadway Friday afternoon. This display is called the Avenue of Flags, and is the primary display of respect for the service performed by our nation's veterans. All of these flags once draped a deceased veteran's casket, which afterward was folded and presented to the next-of-kin who donated them to the Chattanooga National Cemetery to fly on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other significant days, when weather permits.
RESTAURANTS SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED
Numerous restaurants will offer veterans and active-duty military free meals on Veterans Day.
Mission BBQ, for example, will offer free sandwiches and cake to all veterans and active-duty personnel between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is honoring veterans and active military with a free lunch or dinner entree on Monday (tax and gratuity not included). Guests must present either a valid form of military ID or wear their uniform.
Other restaurants that have posted meal deals for veterans online include Applebee's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili's, Cracker Barrel, IHOP, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Red Robin, Starbucks and Texas Roadhouse.
Check with your local restaurant to ensure participation before arriving.