It’s been 104 years since the allied and central powers laid down their arms and declared an end to World War I in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
Since then, Veteran’s Day has been recognized every Nov. 11 as a way to celebrate all who have served in the military, regardless of whether America was at war or peace when they served.
The First State has several events Friday and throughout the weekend aimed at honoring and celebrating the sacrifices of America’s soldiers, past and present.
Here are six ways to celebrate the holiday this weekend.
Delaware River and Bay Authority’s Veterans Day Service
From 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 11, the Delaware River and Bay Authority will host its annual service to honor military personnel.
Sponsored by the Delaware Commission of Veteran Affairs, the service will be held at Veterans Memorial Park located off Cherry Lane in New Castle, Delaware.
Saint Mark’s Veterans Day celebrations
Saint Mark’s, a Catholic prep high school in Wilmington, will hold events all day Friday that are open to the public.
The day will start off with a free, family-style Veterans Day breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The school is asking for donations to support the Cpl. Stephen M. McGowan Fund, which provides tuition assistance for the children of active-duty military and veterans attending Saint Mark’s. Stephen McGowan was a 1996 graduate of Saint Mark’s who was killed in Iraq in 2005 while serving in the Army.
At 10 a.m., those that dined can work off the chocolate-chip muffins and blueberry pancakes at the school’s Cpl. Stephen M. McGowan 20K Challenge.
Due to predicted inclement weather, the run will be held in the school’s gym and will raise money for the McGowan Fund.
Individuals can sign up by themselves or with a team, and teams can race in standard relay fashion, or however they choose.
To register, click here.
University of Delaware Police food fundraiser
The University of Delaware Police Department, along with the college’s Alpha Sigma fraternity, are hosting a food fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 11, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Burgers will cost $3, hot dogs $2, and soda and water will cost $1. All earnings will be donated to the Homes For Our Troops Foundation, which aims to build homes for injured veterans.
Rockford Tavern’s celebration and charity event
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, Wilmington’s Rockford Tavern is hosting a celebration with food and drink specials, and live music performances.
Attendees must pay $10 to enter, but all ticket revenue goes directly to the Threads for Vets program, which donates clothes to veterans and military personnel. The initiative is ran by the Troubadour Ministry.
Bloom Energy’s Stars and Strides 5k
Kicking off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, Bloom Energy is hosting a 5k followed by family-friendly activities and recognition of our Veterans and active military.
This is the company’s inaugural Veterans Day run, and the course will be through and around University of Delaware’s STAR Campus in Newark.
Registration costs $19 for those under the age of 18, and $29 for adults. Participants can sign up here.
Delaware Veterans Coalition apple pie social
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, Delaware Veterans Coalition will host a social event at White Clay Creek State Park in Newark.
In addition to all the apple pies someone could ask for, courtesy of Emma’s Pond Venue and Perkins Restaurant, the event will consist of local veterans sharing stories and memorabilia from their service.
Drinks will also be served.
Attendance is free, but patrons must call the Park Office at (302) 368-6900 to pre-register.
Freebies for vets
Newark’s Patriot Ice Center will have free public skating all weekend for those with a valid military I.D.
Waves Car Wash in Lewes will be giving out free car washes for all active and retired military personnel from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday.
Brandywine Harley-Davidson will also have giveaways to celebrate those who have served.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, it’ll be giving away free “veteran” jacket patches for those with a military I.D.
Applebee’s is offering a free meal from a special menu of seven entrees, on Nov. 11, to active duty and other veterans.
Bob Evans is offering a free meal from a special menu of 10 breakfast items, on Nov. 11, to active duty and other veterans. Veterans must provide proof of service to qualify.
California Pizza Kitchen is offering a free non-alcoholic beverage and choice of one entree from a special menu, to active duty and other veterans, on Nov. 11.
Golden Corral is offering a free meal at all locations from 5 p.m. to close on Monday, Nov. 14, to all active duty and other veterans for Military Appreciation Night.
IHOP is offering free red, white and blueberry pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 to active duty and other veterans. Proof of service is required.
Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut and a small brewed coffee to active duty and other veterans, on Nov. 11.
Little Caesars is offering a free lunch combo at participating locations while supplies last, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Nov. 11, to active duty and other veterans. The combo features a four-slice deep dish pizza with pepperoni, and a 20-ounce Pepsi product. Military ID or DD214 is required.
Red Lobster is offering a free shrimp, fries and coleslaw meal to active duty and other veterans, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time. Show a military ID or proof of service to qualify.
Starbucks is offering a free 12-ounce hot brewed coffee or iced coffee at participating stores to active duty, veterans and military spouses.
TGI Fridays is offering a free meal from a selection of four menu items to active duty and other veterans who dine in at a participating TGI Fridays restaurant. The offer is valid from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 with valid military ID. Tax and gratuity is not included and the deal is not available for online, takeout or delivery orders.
Buffalo Wild Wings is giving veterans and active-duty service members with valid ID 10 free boneless wings and fries for dine-in only.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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