Waukesha residents will have a variety of ways to thank and commemorate veterans this weekend with at least three planned Veterans Day programs.
All three are scheduled at different times, in different locations and organized by different groups.
The city's fifth annual Operation Honor: A Salute to Veterans event is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Schuetze Recreation Center, 1120 Baxter St.
The celebration is an opportunity for veterans to be recognized and for the public to thank them for their service. Vietnam War veterans will be especially honored with a pinning ceremony in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
This year’s keynote speaker is Maj. Gen. James T. Jackson, U.S. Army (retired). Jackson is the director of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. Operation Honor will include a formal recognition of all veterans and will also feature Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly, along with master of ceremonies Jeff Wagner, a WTMJ radio host.
The U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, Starlifter, will perform. A dinner will be provided for the first 500 people in attendance at the celebration.
The free event is open to the public and appropriate for all ages.
Veterans Park ceremony
All veterans organizations are invited to participate in the annual Veterans Day program hosted by the Waukesha Allied Veterans Council.
Lineup for the program begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Veterans Park, 710 N. West Ave., and the ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m.
The massing of colors will kick off the program, and chaplains from the various veterans organizations will then deliver prayers.
The program will conclude with a rifle salute and the playing of Taps.
Student veterans at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha will hold a Veterans Day recognition ceremony at noon Friday, Nov. 11, in the commons area at the school, 1500 N. University Drive.
Area veterans and their families are especially encouraged to attend, but all are welcome. The keynote speaker will be Sgt. John T. Matter, a decorated veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Also speaking will be Army veteran Saul Newton, president of the Wisconsin Veterans’ Chamber of Commerce; Cathy Sandeen, University of Wisconsin Colleges/Extension chancellor, and Greg Cigich, UW-Waukesha student president. The national anthem will be sung by Waukesha resident Alice Summers.
According to UW-W, attendees are encouraged to bring clothing, shoes and household items to go toward a clothing drive for Dryhootch, a local organization helping veterans transition back to civilian life.
No reservations are required.