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Mon, Dec. 16

Concerts, parade, monument rededication mark Veterans Day in Prescott area

Ways to honor our nation's veterans this Thursday for Veterans Day range from two concerts, a parade at the Bob Stump Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the rededication of the newly rebuilt obelisk at Veterans Memorial Park in Prescott.

Today at 7 p.m., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hosts its second annual Veterans Appreciation Concert at the campus activity center, 3700 Willow Creek Road, in Prescott. The two-hour event is free and open to the public.

The 108th Army Band, Arizona National Guard based at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, will perform patriotic music, the Prescott Fine Arts Choir will sing, and local veterans will speak.

"The Veterans Appreciation Concert is our way of saying thank you, remember the sacrifice and honor all who have served and currently serve," said Dr. Frank Ayers, executive vice president and chief academic officer for the Embry-Riddle's Prescott campus.

Then at 10 a.m. Thursday, the John Hafer Octet will perform a live concert near the flagpole island in front of the medical center at the Bob Stump Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 500 Highway 89, in Prescott.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's U.S. Air Force ROTC will conclude its 24-hour flag vigil, just before the beginning of the parade, said Ame Callahan, spokeswoman for the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System.

Then at 11 a.m., the community's annual Veterans Day Parade will kick off in front of the Bob Stump Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center near the flagpole. This year 50 entries will celebrate the theme, "A Grateful Nation Salutes Our Veterans," Callahan said.

The VA Voluntary Service Committee also will provide a food court with hot dogs, soda, cotton candy, popcorn and other items. Admission is free. Call (928) 776-6013 for more information.

After the parade at 1 p.m., there will be a short ceremony at Prescott's Veterans Memorial Park at the intersection of Gurley and Sheldon streets to rededicate the obelisk newly rebuilt by Dave Ridenhour and Larry Despain, said Dan Tillman, of the Ernest A. Love American Legion Post 6 Honor Guard.

Later at 2 p.m., the Prescott Valley Military Service Monument Committee will dedicate the Walk of Honor between the civic center building and police station, 7601 E. Civic Circle, in Prescott Valley. The monument currently contains a brick base and three flagpoles surrounded by a 3-foot-high ornamental fence and 12 Arizona ash and purple-leaf plum trees.

Carm Staker, committee chairwoman and former Prescott Valley mayor, said Jasmine Crowl of the Gold Star Mothers will speak and the Honor Guard from American Legion Post 6 of Prescott will perform.

Afterward, consider a hike in the Prescott National Forest or at Watson, Willow and Goldwater lakes and the Peavine Trail, because on Thursday all day-use and parking fees will be waived to honor veterans.

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