Columbus has a rich and storied military history. A variety of military experiences throughout the city highlight the vital role Columbus residents played in our nation’s conflicts, dating back to the Civil War. Plus, Columbus is the only place in the country that has a single facility that honors all veterans and their families, past and present, from all eras of conflict and branches of service at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM).
This Veterans Day, Ohio’s capital offers a number of events and activities to honor and celebrate the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made for our country.
Central Ohio Veterans Day Parade
Friday, Nov. 5 | Noon | Downtown Columbus
Ohio MilVets has been hosting the central Ohio Veterans Day Parade for more than 35 years, and this year is extra special as the community welcomes home veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. The parade begins at noon with a military plane fly-over at Nationwide Plaza and N. High St., proceeds south on High St., and turns west on Broad St. before ending in front of NVMM. Attendees can see and hear a Civil War cannon on the statehouse lawn, and don't forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots - the parade marks Santa's first visit to Columbus this holiday season. Get additional details here.
Opera Columbus Asks Discussion
Tuesday, Nov. 9 | 7:30 a.m. | TBD
Opera Columbus is hosting a panel discussion that will examine the relationship between mental health and the arts in the recovery of traumatized members of our community, including current and retired members of our military. Tickets include coffee, a continental breakfast and inspirational discussion. Keep an eye out for more details here.
Veterans Day Ceremony
Thursday, Nov. 11 | 11 a.m. | National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Distinguished veterans, including NVMM President & CEO Lt. General Michael Ferriter, United States Army (Ret.), Franklin County Commissioner, Erica Crawley United States Navy (Ret.) and others will share remarks promoting unity and honoring the selfless service of those who serve. Find more details here.
March Through Time
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Ohio Village
Reenactors at Ohio History Center's Ohio Village will share the rich military history of America, from the middle ages to modern day. Hands-on activities, miniature war gaming and more family-friendly activities will be available. Learn more here.
Music for Veterans Benefit Concert
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 4 p.m. | Big Room Bar
Music in Motion invites the community to hear six bands for a night of incredible music at the Big Room Bar, during which 100% of all ticket and event merchandise proceeds benefit veterans through the Wounded Warrior Projects. Tickets are just $10; get yours here.
Honoring Native American Military Service
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 7-8 p.m. | Virtual
On the first anniversary of the National Native American Veterans Memorial at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Curator Rebecca Trautmann will look back on the memorial's creation, design and history of Native American military service. This event is hosted by the Ohio History Center. Register here.
Discounts & Freebies
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Zoo is offering free admission to all who are serving and have served, including their immediate family members, on Nov. 11.
National Veterans Memorial and Museum
NVMM welcomes everyone free of charge on Nov. 11.
Active duty military personnel and veterans can visit the Easton Guest Services desk for a $10 Easton gift card, valid at over 200 restaurants and retailers, on Nov. 11.
94th Aero Squadron
Veterans eat free at this unique restaurant on Nov. 11.
In thanks of their service, all veterans, active duty and military reserve members receive a free meal (up to $20, dine-in only) on Nov. 11 at Hofbrauhaus.
True REST Float Spa
True REST is committed to helping veterans and active military by donating free floats on the 11th of each month – including Nov. 11. Book an appointment here.
Learn more about Columbus' military history: