Veterans Day Events and Specials

October 31, 2019

In 1919, almost 10 years before the start of the building of the Lake Murray Dam, President Woodrow Wilson selected November 11thas the day to pay tribute to all of our military veterans. Originally coined as “Armistice Day”, the name was later changed to “Veterans Day” by President Dwight Eisenhower to honor more than one set of veterans. Often confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died in service, Veterans Day allows the chance for people to thank military personnel for risking their lives to defend American freedom; it allows time to reflect on the importance of peace in our world and it draws attention to the challenges our veterans face.

This tribute remains a celebrated salute to our service men and woman offering deals and discounts as thanks for their service, free admission to local attractions and of course parades around the country. Here’s a few activities going on in our region that are open to the public, and some with special offers to our veterans.

Veterans Day Parade

The 41st Annual Columbia Veterans Day Parade will step off at 11am on Monday, 11/11/19 at the corners of Laurel and Sumter in downtown, and march its way to Sumter and Lady streets. This year’s parade honors Columbia as one of five of The Great American Defense Community award recipients, a recognition bestowed upon the region in April of this year. As the southeast’s largest Veterans Day Parade, the procession includes high school marching bands, military equipment and marching installations from around the state. The parade is about an hour and a half.

282nd Army Marching Band

With a history that dates back to 1869, there is nothing as moving as a performance by the 282nd Army Marching Band. The pomp and circumstance combined with the masterful talent and powerful sounds, create a thrilling musical presentation all should experience. This year offers several opportunities to see the Band perform, including the halftime show at Williams Brice Stadium during the USC game on November 9th. Check out the full schedule, most performances are free.

SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum

As the third oldest museum in the state, SCCRR focuses on South Carolina’s military history from the Revolutionary War to the present. Discover and explore the state’s military history through informative and award-winning exhibits, featuring many rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts.  With evolving permanent exhibits and ever-changing galleries, each visit to the SCCRR, located inside the SC State Museum, is an exciting new experience! Be sure to check them out for their Lunch & Learn sessions throughout the year. All active and retired military will receive free admission on Veterans Day with ID.

Fort Jackson

A major part of Columbia’s community since it’s opening in 1917, Fort Jackson has grown to be the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center conducting fifty percent of the Army’s Basic Combat Training, graduating over 1,200 soldiers weekly. The installation offers visitation to four unique museums including: The Adjunct General’s Corps Museum, the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum, the Chaplain Corp Museum and the Finance Corps Museum. The grounds are also home to the new Centennial Park commemorating the 100th anniversary of the installation.

Guests are encouraged to visit Fort Jackson for graduation ceremonies and special viewings of the Night Infiltration Course.  As these events and museums take place on base, they do require advanced planning for visits. For assistance planning a group visit call the Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office, 803-751-1742 or our Visitors Center.

While Veteran’s Day is a great time of year to pay homage to those who have served, our museums provide a learning opportunity year-round, consider bringing your family, civic group or classroom to tour any of our Military related museums at any time of the year. When planning for your visit be sure to contact our Visitors Center for additional visit ideas, special events and souvenir shopping!

Admission discounts and offers will also apply at the following family friendly organizations when a Military ID is presented.

AR Workshops, Lexington and Columbia: 10% discount off any project, use code MILITARY10

EdVenture Children’s Museum: Free admission for up to 4 guests for military families with ID. This applies to Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day and the 4thof July.

Lake Murray Golf Center: Always discounted play for military personnel with ID

Liberty on the Lake: Liberty on the Lake will be offering 50% off food purchases to all veterans & active military (+1 guest)

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens: Free admission with ID for active and retired military personnel.

By: Julie Colson