6 Ways to Honor Veterans and the Great Outdoors this Nov. 11
I grew up in a military family as passionate about recycling and nature as it was about patriotism and public service. I guess it’s no surprise these twin passions drive my favorite Veterans Day activities: thanking the veterans in my life and taking some time to Get Outside. This November, I’d like to share some of the opportunities available in Washington State.
1. Spend time with a veteran in our National Parks – free!
Admittance is free to five of our National Parks and Historic Sites over Veterans Day weekend, November 11-13. Which one will you choose? The thick green and ancient feel of Olympic National Park? The mountain meadows and iconic trails of Mt. Rainier National Park? The wind-swept beaches and coastal rainforests of Lewis and Clark National Historic Park? Or perhaps you’ll tour the Fort Vancouver or Whitman Mission Historical Sites?
2. Remember Washington veterans at the Seattle Veterans Museum
3. Join veterans to restore Hamm Creek Estuary
Join the Veterans Conservation Corps, the Sierra Club, Warrior Gateway and Service Nation in their efforts to transform Hamm Creek Estuary into a more natural setting. An abundance of wildlife, including beaver, salmon, osprey and bald eagle make the estuary their home. As stated in their web invitation, the restoration builds communities, particularly for veterans who find solace and healing by spending time in the estuary:
Hamm Creek Estuary embodies the struggles veterans face in their transition into civilian life and the promise of a better tomorrow through hard work, perseverance and teamwork. Through this project we hope to build a stronger community, one blackberry and one volunteer at a time.
Folks will begin arriving at 10 AM and work begins at 11 AM on the 11th at 1000 W. Marginal Place South, Seattle WA, 98108. They ask that you register in advance with Jeremy Grisham at hm2grish (at) yahoo (dot) com.
4. Attend Veterans Day Ceremonies throughout Washington State
Events are scheduled the week of November 5-12 all over the state including:
Evergreen Washelli’s 62nd Annual Veterans Day Memorial Celebration will take place near the Doughboy Statue at the base of the Veterans Memorial Cemetary, beginning at 7 AM on the 11th.
At the State Capitol Grounds, the 20th Annual Veterans Ceremony will take place on Friday November 10 from Noon to 1 PM, beginning at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located at the State Capitol grounds east campus plaza near the Capitol Skybridge.
Tacoma War Memorial Park’s Veterans Day Service will begin at 11 AM on the 11th at 6th Avenue and MacArthur Street near the Narrows Bridge.
For further information on these and other events events, see the list prepared by Washington State’s Department of Veterans Affairs or CBS Seattle.
5. Explore Arctic habitat at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium – Retired & Active Duty admitted free!
Retired and Active Duty military members receive free admission to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium on Veterans Day. November 11 also happens to be Artic Animal Play Day – learn about muskox, polar bears, walruses, and other Arctic animals. Be sure to visit the polar bear exhibit to see what it takes to survive in the cold Arctic environment. It’s harsh up there, and the rapid melting of sea ice polar bears depend upon doesn’t make it any easier.
6. Tour the Museum of Flight with a veteran – Retired & Active Duty admitted free!
Join the Bottom Line Duo – a fabulous bass and cello duo – as well as the City of Tukwila Mayor and Councilmembers, distinguished veterans, and the Civil Air Patrol Overlake Squadron color guard for a Veterans Day ceremony from 11 AM to 2 PM. All U.S. Veterans and Active Duty military members receive free admission to the Museum of Flight on Veterans Day. Afterward, enjoy the miracle of flight by flying a kite in one of the area’s many parks and green spaces or simply enjoying unstructured time outside with a Green Hour or hours!