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Saturday parade begins week of programs to pay tribute to veterans

Activities include family fun day, Missing Man Table, Field of Honor


A parade at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Fayetteville and an afternoon of family fun at Sweet Valley Ranch will kick off a weeklong salute to veterans.

The parade, with the theme “Heroes at Home,” will start at Person and Cool Spring streets, move down Hay Street and end just before Segra Stadium. It is being organized by Cumberland County Veterans Council and the city of Fayetteville.

Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield will be represented, as will organizations of the Cumberland County Veterans Council. Also participating are high school JROTC groups and bands, civic organizations such as Scouts and Shriners, and representatives of local sports teams, according to a news release.

The grand marshals are former Fayetteville City Councilman Chris Davis, a veteran and pastor of Force of Life church, and his wife, Demetria Davis, the reigning North Carolina Mother of the Year.

Following the parade, a Veterans Day ceremony will be held at the North Carolina Veterans Park, 300 Bragg Blvd. It is free and open to the public.  

From 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sweet Valley Ranch will host a family fun day in honor of “Heroes at Home” — the spouses, children and other family members of those who serve in the military.

Admission is free.

The Rivermist band will perform live music, and Food Truck Warz will bring six food trucks. Bounce houses also will be set up.

Sweet Valley Ranch, located at 2990 Sunnyside School Road, is a 300-acre working farm with more than 350 animals.

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Field of Honor

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum continues its Field of Honor through Nov. 13. Each flag on display has a tag identifying the veteran it honors and the person who sponsored it. Flags are on display on the parade field of the museum from dawn until dusk at 100 Bragg Blvd. downtown.

The museum is hosting two exhibits related to World War II through Nov. 13. “Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers” tells of the heroic efforts of three brothers who helped save more than 1,200 people while living in the forest during the war. “Operation HALYARD,” on display in the museum’s lobby, highlights the mission to rescue downed U.S. airmen from Nazi-occupied Serbia near the end of the war.

On Nov. 10, the museum will show the documentary “The Last of the 357th Infantry” and host author Mark Hager to discuss his book, “The Last of the 357th Infantry: Harold Frank’s WWII Story of Faith and Courage.” Harold Frank will be a special guest at the program, which is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.

Heroes Homecoming Week

From Saturday through Nov. 12, the 10th annual Heroes Homecoming Week will bring a host of programs and activities to salute veterans.

  • The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic’s second annual Children’s Gala for children of military families will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 12 at Smith Lake Recreation Area, just outside Fort Bragg.The gala is for children ages 4 to 12 and their families and will include a formal evening with food, music and games. Formal attire is required, and service members are asked to wear their dress uniforms.

Space is limited to 150 guests, and admission is limited to military families with children.

Call Sharjuan Burgos at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic to reserve a spot.

  • The Fayetteville-Cumberland County Convention & Visitors Bureau will continue its partnership with Rolling Thunder North Carolina Chapter 1 with the Missing Man Table through the month of November. Table kits are provided to local businesses and organizations to pay tribute to the more than 85,000 American service men and women who remain unaccounted for. The reserved tables and chairs sit unoccupied to represent soldiers who are or have been prisoners of war or missing in action. More information is at rollingthunder-nc1.com.
  • The Hope Mills Chamber’s Chili Cookoff will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom, 5429 Corporation Drive, Hope Mills. For $10, participants can pick their favorite chili. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.
  • A special exhibit, “Heroes Homecoming: On the Homefront,” will be on display on the second floor of the Museum of the Cape Fear through November. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is at 801 Arsenal Ave.
  • The Methodist University Military Programs and Workforce Training and Veteran Service will host a Veterans Day wreath-laying at 11 a.m. Nov. 7 at the main flagpole on campus.
  • Flags will be placed throughout Hope Mills Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 11.
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the campus gazebo.
  • The Fayetteville Woodpeckers will also host their annual United for Veterans event on Friday, November 11 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Segra Stadium.
Fayetteville, Veterans Day, parade, Army, Fort Bragg