Hastings keynote speaker at Veterans Day event

The Tri-Cities Memorial Committee's ninth annual Veterans Day event is 11 a.m. today at the Regional Veterans Day Memorial, which is in the east end of Columbia Park in Kennewick.

Congressman Doc Hastings is a keynote speaker, along with several current and retired military dignitaries.

And in Prosser, the sixth annual Thank You Vets Parade starts at 11 a.m. today.

Anyone can join the parade. Line-up begins at 10 a.m. near Keene-Riverview Elementary School, 832 Park St. The parade will head down Bennett Avenue to Seventh Street through downtown Prosser.

Other Veterans Day events include:

-- American Legion Post #34 will have a Veterans Day program today at Columbia Memorial Gardens, 224 S. 24th Ave., Pasco, to honor all veterans. Guest speaker is Shawn Sant, and the soloist is Kyla Wright.

-- All veterans and active duty military eat free at Applebee's today. Dine-in from limited menu only. Beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active-duty military must show proof of military service. They can choose from these favorites: www. applebees.com/vetsDay/ default.aspx.

-- A compilation of more than 2,000 photos tells stories of war and home from a soldier's perspective in an exhibit opened Wednesday at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

The exhibit of photos and words by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans called 'Life After War: Soldiers' Stories' opens during a Veterans Day ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Richland campus.

A veterans resource fair also is planned starting at 3 p.m. Both are in the West Building Atrium, 2710 Crimson Way.

Admission is free and the exhibit is open through Nov. 22 during building hours, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

The number of veterans enrolled at WSU Tri-Cities has grown from 36 in 2007 to this year's 115. Veterans now make up 7 percent of the student body.

-- The Army Corps of Engineers will waive day-use fees for veterans, active and reserve service members and their families at Corps recreation areas on Veterans Day.

The fee waiver covers boat launch ramp and beach fees. It does not apply to camping and camping-related services. To find Corps recreation areas, go to corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/states.cfm?state=WA.

-- A flag that organizers say is the second-largest in the area will be hoisted in a special event at noon today at 102 N. First Ave., Mesa.

The national flag in question measures 20 by 30 feet, said Charles Grimm, owner of JC's Mesa Grocery, the store in front of which the flag will fly.

The flag will be attached to an 80-foot pole, one of the tallest in the area.

The ceremony will include a brief presentation on the history of the national flag and music by the Connell High School brass band.

-- The annual Veterans Day breakfast at the Richland Rehabilitation Center and Eagle Assisted Living, 1745 Pike Ave., is at 7:30 a.m. today. The meal will include biscuits and gravy, sausage, and eggs cooked to order.

-- Orchard House in Grandview invites veterans to attend a Veterans Day celebration from noon to 1 p.m. today.

Orchard House, a senior living community, will provide a free lunch to local veterans and their families. The home is at 2001 W. Fifth St., near West Fifth Street and Butternut.

For more information, call 509-882-4400 or go online to alcco.com.

-- A celebration of the Marine Corps' 235th birthday will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Kimo's, 2696 N. Columbia Center Blvd. There will be games, cake and giveaways. For information, call Lori Loghry at 222-9436.

-- The Tri-Cities Elks Lodge No. 2755 will hold a veterans appreciation dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the lodge, 15 S. Colorado St., Kennewick.

Dinner is free to veterans or $7 for others and is open to all ages. A short commemorative program will follow the dinner.

For reservations, call 735-6035, or e-mail to elks2755@ frontier.com.

-- The Boy Scouts are dedicating a Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m. today at the Wallula Cemetery in Wallula.

Show a military ID and receive a free 12-ounce gourmet drip coffee/latte today at Guerra's Coffee Company, 1829 S. First St., Suite B, Sunnyside. Info: 509-839-6101