Veterans Day celebrations across the Valley

There are several ways to observe Veterans Day across the Chattahoochee Valley this year.

Fort Benning: Fort Benning will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 outside of Ridgway Hall, across the street from the Benning Conference Center. The ceremony is open to the public. Drivers of vehicles without military stickers must stop at the visitors’ center on I-185 to get a temporary access pass.

Veterans Memorial Park, Columbus: At 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 11, the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission and Combined Communities of South Columbus will host a Veterans Day ceremony and Lonnie Jackson Memorial dedication at Veterans Memorial Park on Buena Vista Road.

Phenix City Amphitheater: Russell County is holding a Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Phenix City amphitheater, which will feature the Russell County JROTC, the Central High JROTC, the Russell County High School band and chorus.

Miss Phenix City Outstanding Teen Bria Kalpen and Miss Phenix City LeLeigh Edwards will sing the National Anthem and God Bless America.

The guest speaker for the ceremony will be former Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, John Gwizdak.

Edgewood Elementary: Edgewood Elementary School will hold a Veterans Day celebration from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 9.

The school's PTA will provide breakfast for all veterans and active duty military whose children are students at Edgewood. There will also be an assembly in the school's gym at 10 a.m. with retired Col. Roy Plummer and the JROTC.

For more information, contact Tracy Blunier at tblunier@mcsdga.net or 706-565-3048.

Wings of Freedom Tour, Columbus Metropolitan Airport: Beginning Mon., Nov. 9, a WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator and a North American P-51 Mustang will fly into Columbus for a four-day visit as part of the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom Tour.

The B-17 is one of only 9 in flying condition in the United States and the B-24J and Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world, according to a release from the Collings Foundation.

Tours of these aircraft require a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children.

For those who want to feel what it's like to fly in a B-17 or B-24 can do so by making a tax-deductible donation of $425 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour.

For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.

Veterans Day honors the men and women who have served America in all wars. Originally known as “Armistice Day,” Nov. 11 has been recognized as Veterans Day since 1954.