As Americans, we have a right to debate our leaders’ decisions, especially when it comes to the wars and conflicts in which they choose to get our nation involved. However, when these heated discussions come up, one aspect that isn’t up for debate is how much respect we owe the troops. Whatever their military involvement, rank or role, their willingness to put their lives on the line for this country give the rest of us the freedom to sit home and debate without fear of getting drafted. With Veterans Day coming next Thursday, November 11, we’ll be highlighting five events where you can support and honor our East End vets now and more next week.
To any veterans and active military reading this, we salute you. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
No Doubt World Famous Monday Night Band Concert
Getting a head start on the Veterans Day festivities, the Riverhead-based No Doubt World Famous Monday Night Band will present its fall concert honoring America and East End veterans on Sunday, November 7 at 2 p.m. The concert is free to all and will be held at the Pulaski Street Elementary School auditorium. 300 Pulaski Street, Riverhead. 516-982-6574
Montauk Playhouse Flag Ceremony
The Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation (MPCCF) welcomes vets and the entire community to its annual Veterans Day flag ceremony on Thursday, November 11. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Suzanne Koch Gosman Flagpole Garden at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center and will feature the raising of the flag, a wreath laying ceremony by local Boy Scouts and Brownie troops, and remarks by MPCCF Chairman Perry B. Duryea III. Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony. 240 Edgemere Street, Montauk. 631-668-1124, montaukplayhouse.org
Cristina Fontanelli Tribute at Claude’s
Claude’s Restaurant at Southampton Inn has arranged a special ceremony and musical performance at the flagpole outside the inn on Thursday, November 11 at 5 p.m. As the flag is lowered by Southampton Mayor Jesse Warren, Award-winning Broadway and opera singer Cristina Fontanelli will perform “Proud to Be an American.” Next, a local vet will be honored with a plaque recognizing their hard-fought survival at Vietnam’s infamous Hamburger Hill. It will be followed by a patriotic cabaret show and dinner from 6–9 p.m. Vets will receive half-priced rates on the dinner concert and overnight stay, bringing the totals down to $50 and $100, respectively. Veterans who can’t attend the Thursday dinner show can enjoy the same rates at a repeat performance on Friday, November 12. 91 Hill Street, Southampton. 631-283-6500, southamptoninn.com
Head to Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Friday, November 12 at 7 p.m. for a fabulous musical tribute to veterans that has traveled the U.S., renewing patriotism with each show. Warriors Rock founder and former lead singer of the Vogues Gary Racan is joined by The Studio E Band and local veterans who are the rock stars of their own night! The show is also packed with video interviews of the featured veterans, who each cue the next song in the set that reminded them of home when they were deployed. The evening ends with a tribute to all the veterans and active military in the audience. Perhaps best of all, 100% of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Westhampton Beach VFW 5350, Hampton Bays American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 and the Westhampton American Legion Post 834. Tickets are available online for $28. 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-1500, whbpac.org
Free Food Galore & More
Most people know one or two restaurants that offer special deals and free meals to vets and active-duty personnel on Veterans Day, but military.com has compiled a more robust (and ever-growing) list of 2021 participants. All of the following eateries have locations on the East End and different deals, and it may be wise to call ahead to confirm that the location is offering the meal you’re craving. Participating restaurants include: Applebee’s, Wendy’s and IHOP in Riverhead, and Starbucks everywhere. While not food-related, it’s certainly worth noting that vets also receive free admission and 2022 membership to the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum in Riverhead, November 10–13. In the case that a restaurant or other business doesn’t offer a discount to military and veterans, consider picking up their tab to show your appreciation this Veterans Day. military.com/veterans-day, suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org