10 Michigan Destinations to Visit This Veterans Day

Each November, veterans, families and friends come together in Michigan, and across the nation, to honor those who served and remember those who lost their lives in ceremonies as part of Veterans Day. In anticipation of this annual day of remembrance, we put together a list of 10 veterans monuments and events in Michigan.

1. Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial - Traverse City
Located at Eleventh Street and Elmwood Avenue in Traverse City, the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial was dedicated Sept. 18, 2011. It’s overseen by the Grand Traverse Area Veteran Coalition. Come visit the space to pay your respects to our veterans.

Grand Traverse Veterans Memorial
Photo Courtesy of the Grand Traverse Veterans Memorial

2. Fort Custer National Cemetery - Augusta
One of two national shrines in Michigan, the Fort Custer National Cemetery is located on Dickman Road in Augusta and open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Originally Camp Custer, it was named after Michigan native Gen. George Armstrong Custer in 1917 for soldiers in World War I. It was designated as a national cemetery in 1981. For more information, call (269) 731-4164.

3. Veterans Memorial Park - Grand Rapids
Dedicated in 1926, the park includes several pillars that were erected in honor of those who served in multiple conflicts. The memorial is located at 101 E. Fulton in Grand Rapids. A Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony of Remembrance will take place on November 11 starting at 11:00am. The parade will begin on Monroe Ave. at Lyon St., proceed down Monroe Center and end at Veterans Memorial Park.

Grand Rapids-Veterans-Memorial-Park.JPG
Photo Courtesy of Chris Foote

4. Plainwell Veterans Memorial - Plainwell
Located in Sherwood Park in Plainwell, the memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day in 2009. The murmur of the Kalamazoo River in the background provides the ideal backdrop for quiet reflection and respect. A Veterans Day Observance will take place in the park on November 11 from 11:00am to 12:00pm.

5. Veteran's Memorial Park - Muskegon
Located on the M. Causeway of M-120 in Muskegon, Veteran’s Memorial Park is located on the Muskegon River. The memorial includes a walkway for visitors to observe memorials and plaques in honor of area veterans. For more information, contact Muskegon City Hall at (231) 724-6724.

6. Brighton Veterans Memorial - Brighton
Including a plaque honoring veterans that was installed in Brighton in the 1950s, the memorial has been redesigned in recent years. It is located on Main Street in Brighton. There will be a Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, starting at 11 a.m.

Brighton Veterans Memorial
Photo Courtesy of the Brighton Veterans Memorial

7. Great Lakes National Cemetery - Holly
Veterans, families and the general public are invited to attend a Veterans Day ceremony at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. The Great Lakes National Cemetery Advisory Council is hosting its 13th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Keynote speaker is Kate Melcher, an Army veteran, former executive director of Fisher House Michigan and current Buddy to Buddy program manager. The cemetery is located at 4200 Belford Road in Holly.

8. Escanaba Park - Grand Haven
Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased to Grand Haven, the park is home to a memorial for the U.S. Coast Guard. The park was originally known as Kelly Park, but was renamed in 1949 to Escanaba Memorial Park in commemoration of the loss of the USCGC Escanaba and 101 men when the ship sank in 1943.

9. Vietnam Memorial at Island Park - Mt. Pleasant
Mt. Pleasant, like many other communities, is home to many veterans. Of particular note is the Vietnam Memorial at Island Park, which was the first in the state to honor those who fought in Vietnam. This memorial is a great way to honor veterans when visiting Mid-Michigan.

10. Withington Park - Jackson
Featuring the sculpture Defense of the Flag, Withington Park in Jackson is named after Gen. William H. Withington. The sculpture honors the 3,282 men of the Michigan Volunteer Infantry regiments who he commanded. The sculpture is also known as Jackson County Soldiers or Sailors Monument.

Many other Michigan communities pay tribute to our nation’s veterans and fallen soldiers. Consider a visit to the veteran’s park in Charlevoix, veterans statue in Port Huron, unknown soldier sculpture in Alpena, Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ypsilanti or one of the numerous monuments on the State Capitol lawn in Lansing.