[pullquote]If you go…
When: 8-10:30 a.m.
Where: 500 East bridge over I-15 in Lehi
What: Flag ceremony, hot chocolate, coffee, doughnuts[/pullquote]
Last Veterans Day Jonathan Walker was in his Army uniform, standing on the Lehi 500 East bridge over I-15 alone, saluting, with cars passing under and behind him. This year the bridge will be closed and he’ll be joined by fellow veterans, residents and hundreds of kids from area schools — all to honor those who’ve served in the military and remind people passing by that Nov. 11 is Veterans Day.
Walker, a Lehi resident, said he felt prompted last year to do something to honor fellow veterans that day — he flew Blackhawk helicopters and has been out of the military for about 15 years. He’d thought about standing for a couple of years, and after a sleepless night before, put on his uniform, took a U.S. flag and stood on the bridge.
“I was pretty nervous,” he said. “I didn’t know how it would go over. I didn’t want to be seen as a showboater.”
It started out a little awkward for him, but then people were driving by and honking their support, and some even stopped to talk to him. An older man stopped by and they cried together. A mother who homeschools brought her kids. And another lady brought him some hot chocolate.
At first he didn’t want to give out his name, but after getting a lot of positive feedback Walker decided to start an organization to honor veterans and bring awareness to veterans issues, called Standing Quietly. He built a website and Facebook page and had people in 14 locations standing to honor veterans on Memorial Day. For Veterans Day, he anticipates people standing in 10-15 locations in Utah, and in Missouri and Minneapolis. There may be more locations, organized by people inspired by the original Lehi event last year.
Lehi City got involved, and the police will close the bridge for the event — the public is welcome. There will be a motorcycle and military vehicle ride starting at the Harley-Davidson dealership at 555 S. Geneva Road in Lindon. That group is meeting at 7:30 a.m. and will line up at 8 a.m. and leave at 8:15 a.m. They will take I-15, pass under the Lehi bridge, get off the freeway and end up at the bridge for the event, which goes from 8-10:30 a.m.
There will be 60 flags on the bridge, tents, hot chocolate, coffee and doughnuts, Walker said. There also will be a flag ceremony.
“It’s kind of a big change from last year with one guy,” Walker said. “Maybe Veterans Day won’t just be a holiday that’s a non-event.”
On Monday, Walker, who’s been flying for Skywest Airlines for nine years, is off to ground school to become a captain.
Veterans Day Events
Alpine Tabernacle, 110 E. Main St.
Home of the Brave annual Veterans Day event, featuring former U.S. senator and astronaut Jake Garn
Mountain Ridge Jr. High, 5525 W. 10400 North
Veterans Day assembly. All military veterans and persons currently serving in the armed forces are invited to attend, along with their families, friends and the general public.
Orem City Cemetery, 520 N. 800 East
Annual Veterans Day program will feature a 21-gun salute, veteran speaker and patriotic musical performances.
Pleasant Grove Cemetery, 500 N. Main St. (north side by the memorial)
Veterans Day ceremony
Timpview High School, 3570 N. 650 East
The annual Veterans Day Tribute will include musical numbers and performances by the Timpview High School Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and A Cappella. Miss Provo Royalty will give the Pledge of Allegiance, student Abby Lundberg will sing the National Anthem, students from Timpview High School will spotlight honored veterans, and the keynote speaker will be Provo City Veterans Council chairman David Gunn.
Santaquin Senior Citizen Center, 55 W. 100 South
Veterans Dinner, free to all veterans and their spouses in the south Utah County area. Call Chris Richins, (801) 754-1131 to RSVP.
Visit Springville Museum of Art, 126 E. 400 South, the week of Veterans Day to receive a free art book. The museum will be open until 5 p.m. on Veterans Day. You may also leave veterans names at the museum for display.
Free for veterans on Veterans Day
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium: Free admission for military personnel, veterans and immediate family with military ID.
Hogle Zoo: Free admission for military personnel, veterans and immediate family with military ID.
Applebees: Free meal from Veterans Day menu, with proof of military service.
Arby’s: Free classic roast beef sandwich for veterans at participating locations.
California Pizza Kitchen: Free entree from Veterans Day menu, with proof of military service.
Carrabba’s: Free appetizer with proof of service.
Chick-fil-A: Free meal for veterans at participating locations.
Chili’s: Free meal from Veterans Day menu, with proof of military service
Cracker Barrel: Free double chocolate fudge Coca-Cola cake dessert for veterans during lunch and dinner.
Denny’s: Free build-your-own Grand Slam, 5 a.m. to noon, with military ID.
Einstein Bros Bagels: Free medium drip coffee to all active, inactive and retired military personnel.
Golden Corral: Free meal, 5-9 p.m.
IHOP: Free red, white and blue pancakes.
Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and small coffee.
Little Caesars: Free $5 lunch combo, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Olive Garden: Free meal from Veterans Day menu, with proof of military service.
Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion and beverage.
Red Lobster: Free appetizer.
Red Robin: Free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries with military ID.
Rodizio Grill: Free meal with purchase of another adult full meal.
Sizzler: Free meal from Veterans Day menu until 4 p.m., with proof of military service.
Starbucks: Free tall coffee for veterans, active-duty military personnel and their spouses.
Texas Roadhouse: Free lunch, with proof of military service.
Tucanos Brazilian Grill: Free shrimp skewer, with proof of military service.
Village Inn: Free breakfast from Veterans Day menu, with proof of military service.