Veterans Day closings, special events, deals for vets -
Published Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 9:00 am / Updated at 9:35 am
Veterans Day closings, special events, deals for vets

Veterans Day is Sunday this year. It is always observed on Nov. 11, to mark the cessation of World War I hostilities on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

The Veterans Day work holiday will be observed on Monday. Federal, state, county and city offices and courtrooms will be closed. Here is the schedule for other services:

City offices: Closed in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Bellevue and Papillion. Open in Gretna, La Vista and Ralston.

Mail: No delivery.

Parking meters: Payment required at Omaha meters.

Garbage: Regular schedule in Omaha and Council Bluffs.

Newspaper: Regular World-Herald delivery schedule; weekend and Sunday-only subscribers also get a morning paper.

Utilities: MUD, OPPD and MidAmerican Energy offices open.

Metro buses: Regular schedule.

Public libraries: Closed in Omaha, Bellevue, Council Bluffs and Papillion. Open in Gretna, La Vista and Ralston.

Special programs

Here are some activities planned for Veterans Day and the days around it. All are open to the public unless noted.

Friday, 10 a.m.: A Blue Star Memorial Marker dedication will be in Triangle Park on the corner of Halleck and Monroe Streets next to Halleck Park in Papillion. Construction of the memorial is a collaboration among the Papillion Women's Club, Papillion Garden Club, City of Papillion and Canoyer Garden Center.

Friday, 2 p.m.: The Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home, 40th Street and Capehart Road in Bellevue, will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony in the main dining room.

Friday, 3:45 p.m.: Florence Library and Community Center, 2920 Bondesson St., will host a free celebration. Boy Scout Troop 20 will have a flag ceremony. The Air Force Heartland of America Band will perform. Deb Miner, an Air Force veteran and member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Purple Heart veteran James Martin Davis will speak. Ponca Piecers quilting group will give a veteran a patriotic handmade quilt. Singing will close the program.

Saturday, 10 a.m., Nebraska's Official Veterans Parade will be in Bellevue. Resident Joseph “Pep” Vocelka, an 87-year-old retired Marine who served in World War II, will be grand marshal. The route will be eastbound on Mission Avenue to Franklin Street, where the marchers will turn north. The parade will end at Washington Park.

Saturday, 11 a.m., The American Legion-sponsored Veterans Day Parade in Council Bluffs will have Army Sgt. 1st Class Nick Jedlicka of the Bluffs as grand marshal. He was injured in 2010 in Afghanistan. The parade will move north from Ninth Avenue and Main Streets, continue north on Pearl Street (when it splits from Main) to Broadway, east to Main, south to Story Street and east to Fourth Street.

Sunday, 11 a.m.: Ralston American Legion Post 373 will host its annual Veterans Day observances in front of Ralston City Hall, 5500 S. 77th St. The program will include remarks by Chief Petty Officer George W. Herbert Jr., from StratCom at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue. After the program, everyone is welcome at the post home, 7400 Q St., for coffee, doughnuts and orange juice.

Saturday, noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2503 at 8904 Military Road will display Remembering Our Fallen. The free exhibit, put together by Bill and Evonne Williams with help from The World-Herald, honors those with Nebraska and western Iowa ties who have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The public also is welcome at the Missing Man Table display, Gold Star Family appreciation time, a noon to 7 p.m. Sunday spaghetti feed ($8 for adult, $4 for children 10 and younger) and a bake sale that will begin at noon Sunday.

Saturday, 6 p.m.: Nebraska's Got Your 6 will host a candlelight vigil and a moment of silence on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in downtown Omaha. The goal is to raise awareness of and show appreciation for the military men and women who defend our freedom and to remember the sacrifices they make. Three Bellevue West High School DECA members — Jaycee Stephens, Kate Radosta and Cole Patterson — created Nebraska's Got Your 6, whose name comes from the military term that means someone is protecting your back.

Sunday, 11 a.m.: This Veterans Day Ceremony will be at Memorial Park, 60th and Dodge Streets. Speakers will include Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, deputy commander of StratCom; Bill Williams, organizer of the Honor Flights and the Remembering Our Fallen exhibit; Tom Woods, father of a Marine killed in Iraq; and city, state and national elected officials.

Sunday, noon: The Red Cross encourages the public to send words of gratitude and cheer to military members, veterans and their families at the Annual Holiday Mail for Heroes Event. Volunteers will provide the chance to write messages of thanks and support through 3 p.m. at Westroads and Oak View Malls. Cards also can be mailed by Dec. 7 to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.

Sunday, 1 p.m.: The Heartland Airborne Memorial Association will have a Veterans Day Ceremony at the Heartland Airborne Memorial site at Heartland of America Park. Cmd. Sgt. Major James Nichols, a retired Army Green Beret, will speak. The event is free.

Sunday, 1 p.m.: The Durham Museum will have special events to honor America's veterans. There will be activities for the children, including creating thank you cards to be sent to soldiers overseas and a boot camp class. Visitors can learn about songs and stories from the Civil War during a 2 p.m. special presentation. Regular admission fees apply.

Sunday, 2 p.m.: Papillion American Legion Post 32 will hold a Veterans Day service at the post, 230 W. Lincoln St. in Papillion.

Sunday, 2 p.m.: The 43rd Army Band of the Nebraska National Guard will perform at Lofte Community Theatre in Manley, Neb. The concert, which honors those who have served our country, is free. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, 2 p.m.: New Century Art Guild, a nonprofit arts group co-founded by veterans and artists, will sponsor an open house and veteran appreciation day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Kimballton, Iowa. This event is free. Refreshments, live music and a silent auction that benefits veteran workshops and programming will be in the Cottonwood Barn. A military vehicle will provide shuttle service from Main Street to the barn.

Sunday, 3 p.m.: The Omaha Pipes & Drums will be part of the Nebraska Wind Symphony's Veterans Day concert, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” at the Strauss Performing Arts Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students 12 and older.

Sunday, 3 p.m.: “Quilts of Valor” made by Lauritzen Gardens Guild members and displayed as part of “Quilts in the Garden … Seasonal Reflections” will be presented to veterans.

Sunday, 3 p.m.: Gretna American Legion Post 216 will have a flag retirement ceremony at the Legion hall, 11690 S. 216th St. in Gretna. Area residents can bring their U.S. flags to the hall so they can be disposed of properly.

Monday, 9 a.m.: Elkhorn Ridge Middle School's Bravo Show Choir will perform at the Hy-Vee Supermarket at 180th and Pacific Streets as part of the store's Veterans Day celebration.

Free stuff for vets

Applebee's: Veterans and active duty military personnel can stop at a participating Applebee's on Sunday to get a free meal from a dine-in-only special menu. Bring in one proof of military service: Uniform Service ID card, Uniform Services Retired ID card, current leave and earnings statement, a photograph of you in uniform, be in uniform, a veterans organization card such as American Legion or VFW, or a DD214. Check to find a location participating in the Veterans Day free meal.

Cantina Laredo: This Midtown Crossing restaurant at 120 S. 31st Ave. will give a free entree Sunday to veterans and active duty military with a military ID. The entree is limited to a maximum value of $15. Brunch ends at 3 p.m. Contact 402-345-6000 or for reservations.

Chili's, all locations: Visit Chili's on Sunday to get a free meal if you are a veteran or on active duty. The offer is for dine-in only on a limited menu. You'll need to show proof of military service — Uniform Services ID Card, Uniform Services Retired ID Card, current leave and earnings statement, veterans organization card, DD214, photograph of you in uniform or wear your uniform.

Florence Car Wash and Pet Wash: Veterans can get a free car wash and vacuum from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the business, 9504 Calhoun Road. Also expect cookies and warm beverages.

Golden Corral, all locations: Any person who has served in the U.S. military or is on current active duty can get a free meal from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. No identification is required to get the free meal.

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium: It will offer free gate admission to all active duty military, veterans and their immediate families on Veterans Day. Sunday's gate hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibit buildings close at 5 p.m.

Historic General Dodge House: Active duty and veterans will get free admission for themselves and their families from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Active duty and veterans also will receive $1 off admission throughout November. The Dodge House is at 605 Third St. in Council Bluffs.

Hy-Vee Supermarkets: Many Hy-Vees with in-store dining will offer a free breakfast buffet Monday to veterans and active duty military. Visit to find a participating Hy-Vee and the hours of the free buffet.

Joslyn Art Museum: All active duty and retired military will receive free admission Friday through Sunday to Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. They will need to show their military ID badge for admission.

Krispy Kreme: Veterans can get a free doughnut and coffee Sunday. Little Caesars: Participating Little Caesars on Monday will offer a free order of Crazy Bread. You will need to present a valid military ID. Visit to find a restaurant participating in this offer.

Quaker Steak & Lube: Veterans and active duty service members who show their military ID card or are in uniform will receive 20 percent off the cost of their meal Monday. The restaurant is at 3220 Mid America Drive in Council Bluffs.

Texas Roadhouse: Veterans and active members of U.S. military are invited to enjoy a free lunch on Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proof of service includes military or VA card. All Texas Roadhouse locations in Omaha, Council Bluffs and Papillion.

Compiled by Sue Story Truax with World-Herald News Service

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