Albany is known for honoring its veterans in a big way, and this year will be no exception, thanks to the hard work of several individuals, organizations and businesses.
Despite the canceling of Albany’s nationally recognized Veterans Day Parade due to Covid-19 restrictions, several other wonderful events will be held including a reverse version of the parade and a memorial service that can be attended in person or watched online.
Here are seven ways Albany is honoring our veterans you won’t want to miss for Veterans Day:
National Guard Flyover. Look up as an F-15 from the Oregon Air National Guard takes a pass over Albany on November 11, 11:15 a.m.
Reverse Veterans Day Parade: 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Nov. 11, Mid-Willamette Valley YMCA. Enjoy the fun of seeing floats from the comfort of your car in this upside-down version of the Veterans Day Parade, sponsored by the YMCA, Southpaws Pizza and Burcham’s Metals. Several floats will be on display in the YMCA parking lot. Enter from 34th Avenue and travel through the lot before exiting onto Pacific Boulevard. Enjoy the sounds of music provided by KRKT and bring along some non-perishable food items to drop off at the float sponsored by Christmas Storybook Land and Fish of Albany. The donations will be given to Fish for its food pantry.
So far, those participating in the reverse parade are Burcham’s Metals, Beaver State Corvette Club, Linn-Benton Community College, Christmas Storybook Land, Forslund Crane Service, Honor Flight, the Oregon National Guard, Albany Aquatics Association, KRKT, Linn County Sheriff’s Department, Greenberg Solar Power, Glenn Lamora, Lawrence Fisher and Fish of Albany.
Providing refreshments to veterans will be Cork’s Donuts, The Brim Coffee Co., Dutch Bros and Benny’s Donuts.
For more information call the YMCA at 541-926-4488. To register a business for the reverse parade call 541-981-7502.
Veterans Day Memorial Service: 11 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, Timber-Linn Memorial Park. The ceremony will include the laying of two wreaths, a rifle salute, a bugler sounding Taps and several speakers, including Kellie Odegaard, Vice President of Operations and Veterans’ Services at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home in Lebanon.
Covid-19 restrictions limit the number of people who can attend the event at 100, therefore the ceremony will be filmed and available on the City of Albany’s YouTube Channel or through the city’s social media after the event. Randy Martinak of the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association said the public is welcome to attend, but to please wear masks, maintain physical distancing and to not block cameras filming the service.
Virtual Annual Veterans Concert: 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 15. Enjoy a virtual feast of song each day from the Willamette Master Chorus at its website. If you happen to miss the concerts, they will be available on the group’s YouTube channel through its website.
Other Veterans Day activities and Information:
Veteran of the Year: This year’s Veteran of the Year is Peter Butler of Lebanon. Butler is an Air Force veteran, having served with the 724th Air Force Band. He is a member of several veterans’ organizations, including serving as a bugler with the Post 51 American Legion Honor Guard.
Bricks: On Saturday morning, Nov. 7, members of the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association will help several families place bricks with the names of veterans into the Sentry Wall. One of those bricks will be for Henry Schauer, a World War II Medal of Honor winner. Schauer was awarded the medal for action in Italy in 1944 while with the 3rd Infantry Division.
Veterans Banners: Banners with images of Albany-area veterans are being hung in the downtown area, thanks to a collaboration between the Albany Rotary Club and the Greater Albany Rotary Club. The first batch of 30 went up on Wednesday along 1st and 2nd Avenues east of Lyon Street. The next batch of 40 banners is scheduled for hanging next week along Lyon and Ellsworth streets.
Uniforms on display: Several businesses in downtown Albany are again displaying military uniforms from different eras and different campaigns, each with a little history about them. The uniforms are sponsored by individuals and provided by the VFW 661 – Uniform Display Museum. The displays will be up Nov. 10-16. A list of uniform locations is available on the Albany Downtown Association website and Facebook event pages.