BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “It’s just one day, but we do it throughout the year,” Paul Marzello, the president and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, says.

“So, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, we think those are special days, where we encourage families to come down to the Naval Park.”

As we go about our everyday lives, holidays like Veterans Day remind us of the Stars and Stripes, and our local heroes who put their lives on the line for our nation.

Courtney Speckmann, the director of programs and community engagement at the Naval Park said “It is important that we recognize and remember what veterans have done for our country throughout its history to help establish and maintain the freedoms that we all enjoy.”

Whether they are our loved ones, our friends, or our neighbors, Veterans Day reminds us of the importance of honoring these heroes and acknowledging their service.

“This is one of the largest concentrations of veterans in the country,” Marzello says. “There are over 65,000 veterans just right here in Erie County. That’s a significant portion of our community.”

Marzello encourages families to visit this weekend and see the pieces of history stored at the park and museum, and learn about the sacrifices these men and women made. There will be a number of ceremonies happening throughout the day, starting at 10 a.m. with a ceremony inducting three veterans into the Wall of Honor.

“We’ll also be unveiling our 2024 All Hands on Deck Challenge coin to help support the Naval Park,” Speckmann said.

Admission for veterans will be free this Saturday. The last day of the season will be November 19.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.