CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Cumberland County residents can celebrate veterans during a two-week observance that starts Saturday.
Heroes Homecoming is in its 10th year and is a way for the community and organizations to thank veterans over multiple days.
This year’s celebration includes more than 15 events hosted by 35 local organizations.
“It is our way of celebrating and honoring all veterans for their efforts and defense of our freedom, now and forever,” the Heroes Homecoming website states.
This year’s observance also recognizes military families “for their honor, bravery, courage, and sacrifice” during “long separations, frequent moves, inconsistent schedules, and the toll of injuries on both service members and their families.”
“All Heroes Homecoming events pay tribute to the continued service of our brave veterans and their families,” the website states.
Here’s a look at the events:
• The annual Veterans Day Parade honors veterans, service members and military families. It starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Fayetteville. The parade starts at a new location this year, starting on Person Street, near B Street, then moving down Person Street to Hay Street and ending near Segra Stadium.
• Sweet Valley Ranch hosts a Heroes at Home Family Fun Day in partnership with the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Beasley Broadcasting, Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Food Truck Warz and Fort Bragg Golden Knights. The event is from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 2990 Sunnyside School Road, Fayetteville. Rivermist will provide live music all day, while up to 10 food trucks and inflatables are on-site.
• Methodist University’s Military Programs and Workforce Training, and Veteran Service offices hosts a Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the campus’ main flag pole, 5400 Ramsey St., Fayetteville. The event is open to the public at no cost.
• Cumberland County buildings would be illuminated green Monday through Sunday as part of Operation Green Light, a National Association of Counties initiative to “raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by many veterans and the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal level to assist veterans and their families.” Residents and businesses are encouraged to participate by simply changing one light bulb in their location to a green bulb.
The three-hour workshop teaches basic fishing skills and includes fishing at the center’s pond.
• The U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum hosts a showing of the documentary “The Last of the 357th Infantry” and a book signing, starting at 6 p.m., at 100 Bragg Blvd., Fayetteville. Documentary producer Mark Hager, who is also the author of the book, “The Last of the 357th Infantry: Harold Frank’s WWII Story of Faith and Courage” will be at the event along with special guest Harold Frank, a 98-year-old World War II veteran. The event is free and open to the public.
Friday, Nov. 11
• Rolling Thunder NC1, Fort Bragg Harley Davidson, Dirty Whiskey Craft Cocktails, and the Wreath Across America Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery Committee hosts the Ride for a Wreath Fundraiser to raise funds to place wreaths on each veteran grave at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery and the Fort Bragg Main Post Cemetery during the holidays. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Fort Bragg Harley Davidson, 3950 Sycamore Dairy Road, Fayetteville. There is a ceremony that starts at 10 a.m., and the ride starts at 11 a.m., ending at Dirty Whiskey, 5431 Corporation Drive, Hope Mills. The cost is $20 per bike and $10 per passenger.
• The Town of Hope Mills Veterans Affairs Committee and VFW Post 10630 will place flags at 9 a.m. atHope Mills Veterans Memorial Park, 5766 Rockfish Road, Hope Mills.
• Fayetteville Technical Community College hosts a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at the college, 2201 Hull Road, Fayetteville.
• The Spring Lake Military and Veterans Advisory Committee hosts a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park, at the corner of Ruth and North Main streets in Spring Lake.
Saturday, Nov. 12
• The Hope Mills Area Chamber of Commerce, The Ferris Agency, Dirtbag Ales, Warrior Bridge and Hiring our Heroes hosts the 4th Annual Chili Cookoff and Family Fun Event from noon to 4 p.m. at Dirt Bag Ales, 5431 Corporation Drive, Hope Mills. Flights of chili are available for $10.
During the month
• The Airborne and Special Operations Museum’s Field of Honor is be on display through Nov. 13 at 100 Bragg Blvd., Fayetteville.
• Marko Djuric, ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the U.S., and John Cappello, president of the Halyard Mission Foundation, Belgrade, Serbia discuss Operation Halyard, an allied-airlift operation during World War II. According to a news release, Serbian farmers risked their lives to give refuge to more than 500 U.S. pilots who were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Family members of several of the rescued pilots will be at the event. The event starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, where an Operation Halyard exhibit is on display, at 100 Bragg Blvd., Fayetteville.
• South River Electric Membership Corporation offices feature a Field of Honor with 500 flags, many that have a medallion honoring a special veteran. Funds raised through sponsorships will be donated to the Disabled American Veterans charity. The flags are featured at the corporation offices at 6491 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, and 17494 U.S. Highway 421 S., Dunn.
• A special “Heroes Homecoming: On the Homefront,” display is on exhibit on the second floor of the Museum of the Cape Fear through Nov. 30 at 801 Arsenal Ave., Fayetteville. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
• Missing man tables will be set up at businesses across the county for all of November to honor service members who are missing in action.
For any updates to events, follow Heroes Homecoming on Facebook.
Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3528.