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Events are being held on both sides of the bay today to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. 

In St. Petersburg from 8 to 10 a.m., Mayor Rick Kriseman will host the Veterans Day Celebration in Williams Park (330 2nd Ave. N.), where he will present the Honored Veteran Award to a local community hero who has served in the military.

In Tampa beginning at 11 a.m in Veterans Memorial Park (3602 US-301), Hillsborough County will hold it 55th annual Veterans Day Tribute, a ceremonial celebration with music, guest speakers, JROTC color guard and drill performers, and light refreshments. The day will include the 2019 Operation: REVEILLE initiative, a rapid-rehousing event that honors 25 military veterans in need of housing by presenting each veteran with keys to their very own home on Veterans Day.

Across the region, from the Florida Aquarium to the Clearwater Aquarium, from the Glazer Children’s Museum to the Dali, veterans are being offered free general admission. The Dali is holding a unique event in its Raymond James Community Room beginning at 11 a.m.; volunteers and staff will read a selection of wishes left throughout the year on the museum’s Wish Tree, after which visitors are invited to leave their own wishes in honor of Veterans Day.

And who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? For veterans today, Grillsmith, Beef O’Brady’s and numerous other chain and independent restaurants are offering just that to veterans with I.D.

But whether or not you can take advantage of any of these celebrations, there’s one easy way to observe the day: If you meet a veteran today (or any day, for that matter), just say “Thank you.”

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