Clarksville, Tennessee is a community that appreciates veterans. The city borders the Fort Campbell Army Post, so appreciating military service is simply the way of life for both residents and businesses. Beyond the ingrained respect that happens daily, this community publicly shows its support annually–in a big way–with a five-day Welcome Home Veterans Celebration.
This year during September 12-16, Visit Clarksville and the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition will host the fourth annual Welcome Home Veterans Celebration. Multiple activities will take place during the five-day period to celebrate and honor veterans, with an emphasis on Vietnam veterans.
“The Clarksville-Montgomery County community recognizes and honors veterans and active-duty soldiers all year long,” said Visit Clarksville Chairman Jerry Allbert. “But, this event is a special opportunity for the entire community to come together and collectively show our support and appreciation for veterans in meaningful ways. We hope that everyone will participate in the events, either by volunteering or attending, and express their gratitude to our servicemen and women.”
Activities for the 2018 Welcome Home Veterans Celebration include:
Remembering Our Fallen is a new addition to the event for 2018. This photographic exhibit is designed to remind Americans of the ultimate sacrifice made by those who died from wounds suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan while wearing our country’s uniform since 9/11/2001. The memorial includes 30 Tribute Towers, which were unveiled nationally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, September 7, 2017. Families may register their lost loved ones at no cost by providing basic information and two photos at www.RememberingOurFallen.org.
American Traveling Tribute Wall at Beachaven Vineyards and Winery. The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) presents the Traveling Wall, an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. Across its 360-foot length, the wall contains the names of every name that is etched on the original monument. At its apex, the memorial is an impressive eight feet tall.
The Wall will open for public display at noon on September 13 and will remain open 24 hours a day until 3:00 p.m., September 16.
Field of Honor – Veterans Tribute flag display will also be at Beachaven Vineyards and Winery September 12-16. Part of a nationally recognized community program, the Field of Honor will pay tribute to the strength and unity of Americans and will honor veterans who served our nation to preserve our security and freedoms.
A Wreath Laying and Massing of the Colors will take place at the Wall on Thursday, September 13 at 3:30 p.m.
A Hero Breakfast on Thursday, September 13 will pair JROTC cadets, veterans, and active duty soldiers. This event is free for veterans, but reservations are required.
A Remembrance Ceremony is open to the public on the evening of September 13. This free ceremony will include music, speakers, and a time of remembrance.
A Valor Luncheon will be held on Friday, September 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center with keynote speaker Edgar Harrell, one of two remaining Marines from the USS Indianapolis that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1945.
The Valor Run Half Marathon and 5K will be held Saturday morning, September 15, beginning and ending at Beachaven Winery. See details or register at valorrunclarksville.wordpress.com/.
Welcome Home Parade is Saturday, September 15 at 10:00 a.m. in historic downtown Clarksville. Veterans should register to participate in the parade at www.welcomehomeveteranscelebration.com. Applications are also available for floats and other parade participants.
Lee Greenwood will be performing a free concert at Beachaven Winery on Saturday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m.
The premier sponsor for all event activities is AARP. AARP members can receive an 18% discount on all ticketed events with the WELCOME50. Several local businesses are also sponsors.
To volunteer or participate in any of the activities or events, please contact Frances Manzitto by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 931-245-4345 or register online at www.welcomehomeveteranscelebration.com.
Clarksville is Tennessee’s fifth-largest city, located 40 miles northwest of Nashville on 1-24 at the Tennessee/Kentucky border and adjacent to the Fort Campbell Army Post.