America marks Veterans Day with parades, commemorations

World Today

Veterans DayA member of the honor guard waits for the arrival of visitors to the annual Veterans Day Observance Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014.

Americans marked Veterans Day on Tuesday with parades, speeches and military discounts, while in Europe the holiday known as Armistice Day held special meaning in the centennial year of the start of World War I.


New York City’s Veterans Day Parade up Fifth Avenue was to feature a float with rapper Ice-T plus six military dogs and their handlers, all of whom have served in the U.S. armed forces.

The float was funded by philanthropist Lois Pope, who works with several organizations that help reunite veteran dogs and the soldiers with whom they served.

Former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who served in the Marines, was chosen grand marshal of New York’s parade.

In Washington D.C., Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Eminem and Metallica are among the headliners for a free concert to raise awareness for issues affecting veterans.

Tuesday’s first-of-its-kind Concert for Valor is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of fans.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts marked Veterans Day with commemorations around the state including a parade in Boston in which gay and transgender veterans were taking part for the first time. A recently formed group called OutVets said it expected up to 30 people to march in Tuesday afternoon’s downtown parade.

Gov. Deval Patrick and other top officials gathered earlier at the Statehouse to express “gratitude, pride and support” for service members from Massachusetts.

Europe marked Armistice Day with ceremonies and moments of silence as France opened an international memorial on a former battlefield.

This year’s events had special significance because this year is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Tuesday was the 96th anniversary of the armistice that ended the war on Nov. 11, 1918.

In France, President Francois Hollande laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier under Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.

Later, he is heading to northern France to inaugurate an international war memorial on the former battlefields of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette.

The Ring of Memory carries the names of 600,000 soldiers who died in the region during the war.

In Belgium, a ceremony was held at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, which is dedicated to British and Commonwealth soldiers who died fighting around Ypres during World War I.

The gate’s vaulted ceiling lists the names of more than 54,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the war and have no graves.

Veterans Day is not only a time to honor those who have served in the military: For American businesses, it’s also a time to back up that appreciation with a freebie.

Many national chains, as well as mom-and-pop retailers around the U.S., offered free goods and services to anyone who has served in the military, a trend that has been growing since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They included IHOP pancakes, Starbucks coffee and even admission at select theaters to see the World War II film “Fury,” starring Brad Pitt.

Arthur Bloom of MusiCorps describes his work with veterans

CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar interviewed Arthur Bloom, the founder of MusiCorps, an organization that teaches veterans to play music to help rebuild their lives.

Musicorps helping veterans rebuild their lives

MusiCorps teaches veterans how to play music to help rebuild their lives. The founder of the program, Arthur Bloom, explains how he came up with the idea.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.

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