CONWAY — Veterans Day honors and thanks all who have served in the military during wartime. The holiday is celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries. These holidays are all Nov. 11. (The first World War ended on Nov. 11, 1918, when the Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.)
The holiday was first created as Armistice day in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson. It was made a holiday for the entire country in 1938. On June 1, 1954, the name was replaced to Veterans Day.
The Gibson Center for Senior Services held a Veterans Luncheon on Wednesday as part of its bimonthly veterans group gatherings, held the first and third Wednesday mornings of the month at 10 a.m. and chaired by Col. Karen Umberger (USAF-Ret.).
Local schools — including John H. Fuller Elementary in North Conway and Josiah Bartlett Elementary School in Bartlett — held Veterans Day events with local veterans on Friday.
Events will be observed throughout valley towns this Sunday and Monday.
Veterans are invited to participate in the Veterans Day Parade in North Conway, set for Monday, Nov. 11.
Presented by the Bartlett VFW and American Legion Post 95 of North Conway and Post 46 of Conway, the parade gathers at the John H. Fuller Elementary parking lot on Pine Street at 10:30 a.m. and proceeds south on Main Street to Schouler Park at 11 a.m. to North Conway’s Schouler Park for the annual ceremonies
The parade and ceremony will feature the Kennett High Marching Band, led by Dr. Therese Davison, Legion and VFW members Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Guest speaker will be four-star Gen. Lori Robinson (U.S. Air Force-Ret.), formerly of Bartlett and now of St. Petersburg, Fla. (see cover story in this edition).
Also on hand will be Kennett High Task Force Eagle members, coached by computing teacher and Navy veteran Joe Riddensdale.
Veterans and the public are invited to a free Veterans Day luncheon at American Legion Post 46 in Conway presented by the Post 46 Legionnaires, Sons of the American Legion and the Auxiliary and Post 95 Legionnaires. The American Legion is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For information, call Sheila Gormley of Post 46 Auxiliary at (603) 447-3927.
Other observances include:
• The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites on Veterans Day. The White Mountain National Forest is participating in the celebration, waiving all day use fees on Monday, Nov. 11. The fee waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service; however, fees will remain in effect for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, reservations and activities offered by concessionaires.
The Forest Service also honors active duty military members year-round with the free Interagency Annual Military Pass honored at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.
• Conway Scenic Railroad’s Heroes’ Appreciation Day, Sunday, Nov. 10. Veterans and active military as well as first responders who show proof of service ID or badge ride free Sunday. Two excursions, both to Conway: 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Call (603) 356-5251.
• Veterans will be honored Sunday, Nov. 10, at St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Church, 85 Pleasant St. in Conway, at 10 a.m. For information, call (603) 447-2404.
• Fryeburg/Lovell VFW Post No. 6783 will hold a Veterans Day service Monday, Nov. 11, starting at 11:11 a.m. at the East Conway Memorial at the junction of Route 113 and River Road before moving on to Bradley Memorial Park at 11:30 a.m. in Fryeburg. Members then travel to Lovell, Maine, for a noon ceremony at the Veterans Memorial next to the Lovell Public Library on Route 5. Call (207) 925-1592.
• Tamworth’s Veterans Day Ceremony is Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial at the junction of Routes 113, 113A and Main Street. Reception to follow at the Tamworth Townhouse. Donations of small sandwiches and limited baked goods may be dropped off at the townhouse Sunday 3 to 4 p.m. or Monday, 9 to 10 a.m. before the ceremony. For information, go to tamworthnh.org/veterans.
• The Rodney H. White VFW Post 8270 of Ossipee will hold ceremonies Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at Ossipee Town Hall. Refreshments will be served after a short service. The VFW will also be doing a poppy draw on Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Napa, Irving Center Ossipee, Tractor Supply and Aubuchon’s.
• The public is invited to the Effingham Honor Roll at the bandstand on Route 153, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. for a wreath-laying ceremony. Immediately following, a wreath laying will be held at the Effingham Town Hall/Library on Town House Road. A gathering for refreshments and fellowship will follow at the Effingham Historical Society. For more, call (603) 948-0126.
• In observance of Veterans Day, post offices will be closed Monday. All banks (including Bank of N.H., Citizens Bank, KeyBank, Northway Bank, Norway Bank and TD Bank and Northeast Credit Union), plus New Hampshire and Maine state and town offices and all schools in SAUs 9 and 13 and MSAD 72 will be closed Nov. 11.
• Settlers Green (603-356-7031): As part of its Veterans Day observances, Settlers Green on Nov. 11 will hand out free American flags from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to gather in the gazebo courtyard at 11 a.m. for a singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Other local specials for veterans include: The Red Parka Pub is offering 50 percent off entrees on Sunday, Nov. 10; Priscilla’s is offering 50 percent off veterans’ meals on Monday, Nov. 11, and on the 11th of every month. Integrity Health Coaching Center is offering free sign-up to veterans in November with annual membership. Offer expires Nov. 16.