Veterans Day, and Veterans Day Weekend, serve as both a communal and private experience.
Those who have served in the armed services gather at halls, aboard ships, and at places of remembrance to both talk, hear stirring words, and spend some quiet moments in reflection. They're joined by family and friends, too, making it a true occasion based on community and coming-together-ness.
Which is what veterans and active military and their families are doing over the second weekend in November.
U.S.S. IOWA: The famed World War II battleship, which now calls San Pedro home, is marking the weekend with both a day of special events on Saturday, Nov. 9 and open hours on Veterans Day itself, which is Monday, Nov. 11. (The ship is typically open every day of the year, note, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.) Find it in Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles.
NATIONAL PARKS: Waiving entrance fees to the national parks that charge it happens over a few days a year. The final fee-free days of the year at the national parks are in honor of Veterans Day Weekend. So if you're heading to Yosemite or Death Valley or another of our nature-filled treasures that do carry an admission, you'll enter without paying it from Nov. 9 through Veterans Day itself, Nov. 11.
LOS ANGELES NATIONAL CEMETERY: The Sepulveda landmark closes on holidays with two exceptions: Memorial Day and Veterans Day. For more special veterans appreciation events going on around Southern California and the country, check out the official Veterans Administration calendar.
SAN FERNANDO VETERANS DAY PARADE: There are a number of marches, tributes, and gatherings going on around town, and this lovely remembrance is one of the largest. Over 120 groups -- veterans, marching bands, and more -- will be out in Mission Hills on Monday, Nov. 11.