At 111 years old (yes, you read that right), Richard Arvin Overton is the oldest living American veteran, having served in the South Pacific during World War II as a member of the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion (Colored). You read that correctly, too—the U.S. Armed Forces were officially segregated until July 26, 1948. But Overton, obviously, is not the only veteran. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Overton is only one of approximately 21 million living veterans. Giving the all-volunteer nature of the U.S. Armed Forces, less than 7% of our population is veterans.
So, odds are, you don’t know many. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate them, and the sacrifices they make for us daily, on Veterans Day—Saturday, November 11. We’ve put together a list of events around the East End where you can do just that.
Take your favorite veteran—or all your favorite veterans—to the Dan’s Best of the Best 2017 Celebration Concert featuring Dan’s Best of the Best Platinum winner Hopefully Forgiven. The biggest bash of fall takes place Friday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Suffolk Theater in Riverhead. Eat, drink, be merry and party with the winners, voters and entire East End community. This year, a portion of ticket and silent auction proceeds will go to benefit Riverhead VFW Post 2476, the true Best of the Best. BOTBConcert.com
Salute parading veterans in Sag Harbor on Saturday at 10 a.m. when the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9082 takes to Main Street. The Southampton Veterans Day Parade will start at 10:45 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church then make its way down Jobs Lane to Agawam Park where a ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. United Veterans Organization of Patchogue, consisting of VFW Post 2913, American Legion Post 269, and AmVets Post 111 will be holding the annual Veterans Day Observance at the Four Corners (Main Street and Ocean Ave) in Patchogue from 10:30–11 a.m.
Get your vet a furry pet—for free! Kerrigan Country Realty, in partnership with Bideawee, both in Westhampton Beach, will be holding a special Pets for Vets event on Saturday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. in front of Kerrigan’s 122 Main Street office. All adoptions fees will be waived for vets. Search for the purrfect pet at bideawee.org.
On Sunday at 3 p.m., Patchogue Theatre and the Atlantic Wind Symphonic Band celebrate Veterans Day with a stirring concert in the tradition of John Philip Sousa, an American composer and conductor known particularly for American military and patriotic marches such as “The Star and Stripes Forever.” patchoguetheater.org
Revisit the veterans of yesteryear at the ongoing exhibition, Over Here, Over There: Long Island and the Great War, at the Suffolk County Historical Society. The exhibition commemorates the centennial of America’s entry into the First World War and features rare artifacts, maps, photographs, weaponry, posters and more depicting Long Islanders’ experiences during the Great War from the front lines to the home front, neutrality to belligerence and mobilization to victory. suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.com
If none of the above events appeals to you or your vet, then simply take your vet out for a cup of coffee or to lunch. Go for a walk with your vet, watch a movie, have a chat, go fishing, cook a nice meal for your vet. At the very least, thank your vet.
For more events visit Events.DansPapers.com.