File photo by Matt Cohn.
They answered the country’s call of duty, and now with Veterans Day one day away here’s a list of places you can check out to celebrate and honor those who served in the armed forces.
Seaside Tours With A Touch of History
Imagine and experience the rich history of World War II (WWII) during the History of Service tour this Friday aboard the Queen Mary. Her majesty was icknamed the “Grey Ghost” during the war, as she transported 15,000 soldiers in a single voyage that spurred a turning point for the Allied Forces.
The tour will not only feature the history of the Queen Mary’s involvement during WWII, but include a 4-D theater screening, an audio tour of the ship, access to the new “Passion For Painting: The Art of Winston Churchill” exhibition, Ship Model Gallery, Queen Mary story, museum and historic exhibits. The Glory Days Historical Tour and Haunted Encounters are also included. All of this can be accessed through a historic first class passport.
Active service members, retired military personnel and veterans get in free with the passport, which is limited to one person per admittance. Family members receive 30 percent discount on all tour packages. First class passports only valid on Friday, November 11, for tour with valid military ID or proof of service. Additional discounted passports are limited to six per military member. For more information about the tour, click here.
Additionally, Operation Confidence (OC) will host their “Tribute To Our Disabled Veterans” event aboard the Queen Mary the same day from 7:00 to 11:00PM, according to OC officials. Special guest Deputy Secretary Ricardo Reyes of Minority Veterans Affairs will present Governor Jerry Brown’s Veteran’s Day proclamation.
“Our goal is to raise awareness and the funds to provide housing that includes good nutrition, mental health and sober living assistance, self-help programs, independent living, mobility devices and other supportive services to help our veterans re-enter and become productive members of mainstream society,” said Consuella Mackey, Executive Director of Operation Confidence, in a statement.
Actor and producer Trae Ireland (The Wedding Ringer) is set to make an appearance at the event, which includes performances by Dre Knight, Beverly Church Hogan, Rev. Alvin McKinney, and Dante Vernon Jones. For ticketing information and more, click here.
The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway.
The “Grey Ghost” isn’t the only historical ship to celebrate Veterans Day. Battleship Iowa is holding its inaugural Veterans Day Music Festival, starting 11:00AM with an opening ceremony with all day live music starting noon, aboard the USS Iowa, nicknamed the “Big Stick”. This festival will be held at 250 South Harbor Boulevard in San Pedro, which is only a seven miles west from the Queen Mary.
General tour admission is $11 to family and friends accompanying a veteran. First 800 veterans and their family and friends will be provided with free food. For more information, click here. The Queen Mary also offers a $36 package deal for both ships that includes a passport ticket and USS Iowa admission. The only exception is that attendees must visit the Queen Mary prior to the Iowa. Click here for more details.
You can always opt to visit the fishes if touring historical ships is not your preference. The Aquarium of the Pacific invites veterans and military personnel free admission with military ID or proof of service this Friday, from 9:00AM to 6:00PM, in celebration of Veterans Day. Aquarium members get in free. The aquarium is located at 100 Aquarium Way. For more details, click here.
Festivities and Entertainment
If you’re not feeling the ocean waves, you could always celebrate the holiday with the veterans at VA Long Beach’s 6th annual Veterans Day Welcome Home Celebration from 11:00AM to 2:00PM at 5901 East 7th Street. The event will have food, live entertainment and more. Click here for more information.
Once you’ve checked out VA Long Beach’s celebration, get into the “Beach Pride” spirit with the Long Beach State (LBSU) basketball team as they face off against California State University Los Angeles’ (CSULA) team. The game will be held at the Walter Pyramid, 1250 North Bellflower Boulevard, starting at 7:00PM. Military personnel and veterans can get up to two free tickets with service ID. For more ticketing information and details, click here.
While not on Veterans Day, you can still celebrate the occasion with The Great Gatsby Ball, hosted by Honoring Our Fallen. This ball, based on the famous novel of the same name, will be held at the Long Beach Petroleum Club on Friday, November 18, from 6:00PM to midnight.
Guests will be introduced to to an elegant evening filled with dinner, live entertainment, dancing, and an award celebration. For ticketing information, click here. The LB Petroleum Club is located at 3636 Linden Avenue.