On Monday, November 11th, the United States will observe Veterans Day. In Pittsburgh, there is a wealth of special events and permanent organizations that celebrate and honor veterans. Whether it is shaking the hand of a vet at the parade downtown, making donations to a veterans organization or sitting down and listening to a vet tell a story, there are plenty of ways to commemorate the men and women who served in our nation’s military.
Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade
Date: Nov. 11, 2013
This year marks the 94th annual Veterans Day Parade in Pittsburgh. One of the largest in the nation, the city plans this year to return to holding the parade on the official day of remembrance instead of last year’s experimental celebration on the Saturday before Veterans Day. Starting on Liberty Avenue, the parade will wind its way through downtown where its organizers ask spectators to give rousing support and applause to the veterans participating in the parade. Check the city of Pittsburgh’s website for more details as the event approaches.
Date: Nov. 11, 2013
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is sponsoring a nationwide event to cut your hair and make a donation to the VFW. This year, the organization has a Pittsburgh connection: Steelers teammate Troy Polamalu has pledged to cut his hair for the first time in 10 years in exchange for donations to the VFW. Join Troy’s team or start your own team to raise funds. The VFW is a non-profit that runs programs for vets that range from legislative advocacy, community service and events that help fellow veterans build friendships with each other. Check out more information on the VFW Mane Event page or Sport Clips, the official hair salon of the Mane Event. Even if you aren’t planning to cut your hair, you can make a donation online.
Keystone Paralyzed Veterans Of America
1113 Main St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Donating time, funds, goods and services to veteran organizations is one of the best ways to honor service members this Veterans Day. Keystone Paralyzed Veterans of America is a locally based chapter of a non-profit that seeks to help veterans any way it can as the need arises. KPVA helps organize volunteers who want to give their time to visiting vets at local Veterans Affairs hospitals as well as accept material donations for veterans in need. Donating professional services like legal and financial council as well as handyman maintenance is eagerly accepted by KPVA.
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall And Museum
4141 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Pittsburgh is home to the only memorial museum dedicated to honoring the service of the men and women who serve in all of the branches of the military. The goal of this museum is to simply get people through the doors to “honor them with your presence.” The museum boasts a sobering collection or art, cultural artifacts, military equipment and artifacts that belonged to active military personnel. Before heading into the exhibits, take the time to go into the auditorium. The highlight of this gorgeous room that can hold over 2,000 people is the script of the Gettysburg Address adorning the wall behind the stage. After visiting, consider returning to the museum in a more official capacity: the museum is currently looking for dedicated volunteers who can help with educational outreach programs.
Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh
If you know a vet who wants to tell his or her stories about their time in military service, consider contacting Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh this Veterans Day. The goal of this non-profit is to record the stories of as many living veterans as possible. Pittsburghers interested in setting up an interview can contact the organization directly and can expect a multi-media experience that captures not only the voice of the veteran but also their physical presence by taking photos and recording videos. Since beginning the project in 2012, Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh has interviewed over 200 local vets. The organization also works in conjunction with the Veterans Breakfast Club Partnership who actively brings vets together to tell their stories.
Related: Best Museums In Pittsburgh
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.