Here's what you need to know about veterans and the Veterans Day holiday in the metro area.
Veterans Day is this Thursday, November 11th. This annual event recognizes the sacrifices made by service men and women in service to their country. Like the rest of the country, the Portland metro area will offer a variety of ways to say thanks.
According to the American Community Survey, just over 279,000 veterans are reported to live in Oregon. This number is declining each year. About 12% of Oregonians have a history of service in America's Armed Forces.
Sadly, many veterans end up homeless on the streets of Portland. The last time the city and county conducted a census of homeless individuals, their survey found 470 veterans living in shelters, cars, or on the streets. This is about 11% of the county's homeless population. This number is likely higher now. The last count of homeless individuals happened back in 2019; Multnomah County officials canceled the biannual count that would have happened this year, out of fears about the pandemic.
Veterans Day has traditionally been a day of parades and celebration. While some live events are still on hiatus due to the pandemic, some outdoor events are returning this year.
The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a statewide Veterans celebration. Note that this event will be the day before Veteran's Day, on Wednesday, November 10th at 2:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Capitol Park in Salem. The event will also be live-streamed on Facebook for safe viewing from home.
The University of Portland will hold its annual 24-hour vigil at its campus in North Portland. The event starts on Wednesday and runs through Veterans Day, ending with a Commemoration Ceremony. For more information, click here.
The Historic Trust and Fort Vancouver will host a Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. on November 11th. This outdoor event replaces the traditional Veterans Day parade. For more information, visit their website.
You also may want to visit one of Portland's veteran memorials to pay your respect, including:
- The Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial
- The Oregon Korean War Memorial
- The World War II Memorial at Veterans Memorial Colosseum
If you're working on Thursday, be aware that you may be impacted by closures due to the holiday, including:
- The U.S. Post Office will be closed, and there will be no mail delivery on Thursday.
- Federal, state, and local government offices will be closed, including the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and federal and local courts.
- Libraries will be closed
- Parking meters will be free on Thursday; you do not need to pay to park.
Local public transportation including TriMet and C-Train will operate on regular daily schedules.
Many businesses and local attractions are offering special thank you gifts to veterans including things like free admission, free haircuts, free food, and discounts, depending on the location. If you are a veteran, check out the following:
- National Parks
- Washington State Parks
- Oregon Coast
- Restaurants like: Appleby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Golden Corral, McCormick & Schmicks, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Red Lobster, Red Robin, Wendy's, Cracker Barrel, Famous Dave's, and more.
- Great Clips
- Sports Clips
- Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
If you're not sure if your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, retailer, or area attraction is offering a Veterans Day discount or freebie, be sure to ask.
Happy Veterans Day Portland!
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