On Veterans Day we honor all who serve and have served our country in our armed forces. The day marks the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I at the 11th hour on the 11th day of November, 1918.

The Armistice was signed in the Compiègne Forest in France, about 60 km north of Paris, ending all fighting on land, sea and in the air air in the Great War between the Allies (represented at the signing by France and Great Britain) and Germany, their last remaining opponent. Armistices had previously been agreed with Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Locally, a number of events are planned in observance of Veterans Day 2021.

Members of Randall Collins Post 3108, Veterans of Foreign Wars will present awards for their essay contests, Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen at Belfast Area High School at 10:15 a.m.

Following that, members of the VFW post and Frank D. Hazeltine Post 43, American Legion, will lead the annual Veterans Day parade Thursday in Belfast. Marchers will step off at 11 a.m. from Belfast Area High School, travel down Waldo Avenue to Main Street, and conclude with a ceremony at the boat landing.

A luncheon will follow the parade at the American Legion Hall, 143 Church St. in Belfast.

Veterans and members of American Legion Grant-Staples Post 183 in Brooks will hold a brief ceremony in front of the First Congregational Church, UCC, at 22 Veterans Highway. The choir will be on hand to sing prior to the ringing of the church bell at exactly 11 a.m. The public is invited.

Members of Jerry W. Dobbins American Legion Post 157 in Stockton Springs will conduct their annual Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Stockton Square at 11 a.m. All are welcome.

At 7 p.m., the cast of Opera that Rocks will present “Focus” at the Belfast American Legion Hall, a rock opera about a rock band in the Vietnam War Era and what happens when one of its members is drafted. Music is from the 1970s and ’80s.

There will also be a 1:30 p.m. matinee performance at Fair Haven Camps in Brooks (81 W. Fair Haven Lane, 722-3456) the same day. The matinee show will feature a question-and-answer session with Belfast VFW post advocate Carmine Pecorelli.

A third performance is tentatively planned for Friday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Legion Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15 or in advance through Venmo or PayPal @operathatrocks for $12.

Many establishments, including stores and restaurants, give military discounts on Veterans Day. Locally, Hannaford is offering a 10% discount on Veterans Day to all active and retired military and reservists on all purchases. Simply identify as a veteran and you’re eligible.

Banks and government buildings will be closed, and there will be no regular mail delivery or retail services available on Veterans Day, which is a federal holiday, but mail carriers will be delivering Priority Express and other guaranteed next-day services.

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