Clovis has a rich history of honoring and supporting its military veterans. This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the city will reaffirm that commitment when they rename a portion of Hughes Avenue — from Third to Fifth streets — Veterans Parkway.
The name change has been in the works for several months, said Amy Sanchez, Community Heritage Center Director at Clovis Veterans Memorial District. The CVMD petitioned the city to change the name as a way to add to its visibility. Over the past decade the CVMD has made considerable investments in their facility and the city, including impovements along Hughes Avenue and the Clovis Old Town Trail.
The unveiling of the new street sign and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., but it’s only one of many events taking place in Clovis on the holiday, which honors those who have served in the United States armed forces.
“People can look forward to a day where we remember our veterans and the sacrifices they have made,” said Lorenzo Rios, CEO of Clovis Veterans Memorial District, and a 23-year Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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The CVMD has a full day of activities planned, beginning with the annual pancake breakfast and raffle, hosted at 7 a.m. by VFW Post 3225. Tickets will be available at the door. The breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, sausage and beverages. Proceeds will benefit VFW.
A raffle and boutique, hosted by the VFW 3225 Auxiliary, will feature handmade crafts, baked goods, jams and jellies. Funds raised by the boutique will be used to generate more CVMD programs, said Rios.
VFW Post 3225 Commander August Flash, a Vietnam veteran, said the group plans to serve about 500 guests at the breakfast. Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts from area troops will be on hand to help out.
Throughout the day, the CVMD will host screenings of short military movies and documentaries in its auditorium. Some of the films, said Sanchez, are educational films about the different conflicts our country has been involved in. Beginning at noon, however, documentaries about specific conflicts will be alternated with talks from veterans.
Rios said the opportunity to hear from an actual veteran who served in the conflict they’ve just seen a documentary about helps attendees “connect the experience to history.”
Veterans and others who have written about the military experience will be on hand throughout the afternoon to sell and sign their books. The event will serve as a book launch for Tom Morton’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Rememberances of My Service in the Marines.” Other local writers appearing include Gid Atkisson, Ken Eaton, George Gruner, David Hendrickson, Phyllis Johnson and Jim Mobley.
Janice Stevens, who edited the compilations “Stories of Service: Valley Veterans Remember WWII” and “Valley Veterans Remember WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War,” will be at the signing as well. Stevens collects memoirs of veterans from her weekly Stories of Service class, held on Monday mornings at the CVMD.
A patriotic concert by the Clovis Community Band will take place in the Liberty Ballroom at 11 a.m. Two galleries, the Veterans Memorabilia gallery and the CUSD Veterans Day Art Contest gallery, will be open for viewing at various times througout the day.
The day will end with the annual Veterans Day Dinner, complimentary for a veteran and one guest of his or her choice, said Rios. “The dinner is a tribute to veterans, to thank them for their service, and to recognize Gold Star Heroes, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Rios said they’re expecting about 750 guests at the dinner. To reserve a spot, call the office at CVMD at (559) 299-0471.