Now in its fifth year, Clarksville’s Welcome Home Veterans Celebration is adding two new exhibits to honor veterans and first responders. During September 18-22, the public is invited to participate in dozens of events and activities and show their appreciation.
“This year, we want to broaden the awareness and appreciation for veterans from all conflicts, as well as for our first responders,” said Visit Clarksville Chairman Kyle Luther. “The Vietnam War is still at the core of the event, but we’re adding some exhibits and activities that will highlight the service and sacrifice of multiple generations and honor even more American heroes.”
New activities on tap for 2019 include:
- 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, a tribute to all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. The memorial provides interactive education; including artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos, and recordings of first responder radio transmissions. Interactive guided tours are carried out by FDNY firefighters who provide firsthand accounts of the day and its aftermath. Admission is free, however, tour times may be scheduled in advance at Eventbrite. Search “Welcome Home Veterans Celebration” to schedule your time. The 9/11 Never Forget exhibit is open Thursday and Friday 3-7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7.p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Traveling Korean War Memorial consists of 19 soldiers walking through a Korean rice paddy and three soldiers off to the side setting up a campfire.
- Concert opening by the US Army Field Band’s Six-String Soldiers, the most followed military music group in the world.
- Gold Star family reception.
- Memorial Mile Walk at Beachaven Vineyards & Winery.
- Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Ceremony at Fort Campbell – Hanger 3. Vietnam Veterans will be given a long overdue “welcome home” just like active duty soldiers receive upon their return from a deployment. Please register to participate at the event website.
Returning activities for the Celebration Week include:
- Lee Greenwood Concert. Enjoy this American music legend in a free outdoor concert with an opening concert from Six-String Soldiers.
- American Traveling Tribute Wall is an 80-percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC and contains every name that is etched on the original monument.
- Field of Honor – Veterans Tribute flag display is part of a nationally recognized community program that demonstrates the strength and unity of Americans. Order a flag for your loved one on the event website.
- Opening Dinner at Old Glory Distilling
- Hero Breakfast pairing local students, active duty soldiers and veterans.
- The Valor Run 5K & 10K
- A Wreath Laying and Massing of the Colors at the Wall.
- A Valor Luncheon featuring Key-Note Speaker and Vietnam POW Guy Gruters and presentations from Quilts of Valor.
- Welcome Home Parade in historic downtown. (Veterans, please register on the event website to participate.)
“We are proud to again be part of this tremendous event in Clarksville,” said Sykes Funeral Home Owner Stewart Sykes. “It is for veterans, but it’s also for the community. It’s a time to learn about our nation’s history, to show support and appreciation for those who have served, and to come together to celebrate our freedoms.”
An opening ceremony for all exhibits will take place at 6:30p.m. on Thursday, September 19 at Beachaven Vineyards & Winery. The opening will include a wreath laying and POW remembrance ceremony. See all exhibits and the Lee Greenwood concert at Beachaven Vineyards & Winery, 1100 Dunlop Lane. Exhibits will close at 3:00p.m. on Sunday, September 22.
AARP is the premier sponsor for all event activities. Local sponsors include Fortera Credit Union, Sykes Funeral Home, F&M Bank, CDE Lightband, Wounded Warrior Project, SunTrust, Asera Care, Rainbow, Gray Line Tennessee, Montgomery County Veterans Coalition, Beachaven Vineyards & Winery, Appleton Harley-Davidson, Copies in a Flash, Old Glory Distilling Co., United Rentals, Hankook, Navy Federal, Governor’s Square Mall, Restorative Health Services, 5Star Media, Tilted Kilt, Mission BBQ, Agero and Visit Clarksville.
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