Eternally Grateful

Armistice Day was recognized as a celebration of the end to World War I, when Germany signed the armistice agreeing to end hostilities in 1918. This truce went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and was thereafter celebrated that day, Nov. 11.
It was a celebration of the end of the war, but also a day to honor those who served during the war. In 1954, the federal holiday was renamed Veterans Day in the U.S. to include the remembrance of military members who have served throughout our country’s history.
For their courage and bravery, we continue to honor those men and women who served in the armed forces with this special day. Although any day is a good time to thank a vet, donate to military causes or pay respects at a memorial, on this 11th day of the 11th month, we especially remember the sacrifice of these heroes.
Across the river from Laughlin, there is a memorial in Bullhead City that locals and visitors frequent for some quiet reflection time. Arizona Veterans Memorial Park is a great place to visit and observe Veterans Day while paying respect to those military members who made the ultimate sacrifice.
This beautiful park right along the Colorado River is actually two parks in one. While both are within yards of each other, the southern peninsula is tucked behind American Legion Post 87, and the entrance to the northern peninsula is right next to Lazy Harry’s.
The southern portion resembles the bow of a ship, with its metal rails and memorial wall with bronze panels engraved with the names of all Arizonans — more than 3,000 service men and women — killed in action in conflicts dating back more than 100 years. On each side of the wall are large eagles surrounded by 50 stars that represent the 50 states.
Mike Gilbert, owner of Iguana Bay Resorts (adjacent to the southern peninsula), said he has been working for the past two years in improving the landscape around the memorial. He built the beach beside the memorial, added planters and put in additional lighting along the walkway so the park lights up at night. There is 24/7 access to the southern peninsula from the walkway behind American Legion Post 87.
The northern park has majestic white columns surrounding an eternal flame honoring Arizona Medal of Honor recipients. It also includes a stone memorial honoring the USS Arizona, which was destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, marking America’s entry into World War II. Arizona firefighters who traveled to New York City after 9/11 are also honored.
Both area residents and Veterans United, Inc., a locally formed volunteer nonprofit organization, maintain the park, which is open year round and admission is free. Donations can be left at the park.
Directions to the southern portion — from Highway 95, take Riverview Drive toward the river; keep driving until the road ends at Riviera Boulevard and Clearwater Drive. Turn left on Riviera Boulevard, into the large parking lot in front of American Legion Post 87, 2249 Clearwater Drive (follow the signs from Riverview Drive).
To the northern portion — take Clearwater Drive to Steiger Drive, turning left. Then turn left on Whitewater Way, which turns into Whitewater Drive. Follow the narrow street around to the stop sign at Rio Grande Road, turning left. The entrance to the park is next to Lazy Harry’s at 2170 Rio Grande Road.
While driving along Highway 95 to reach the park, visitors will notice banners along the light posts through town. These banners display the picture and rank of active duty military members from the community. This Military Recognition Program was created through a partnership with the Tri-State Military Moms, Inc., the city of Bullhead City, and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The Aquarius and Edgewater properties recently raised and donated $2,840 to Tri-State Military Moms to fix and replace battered banners. You can donate to Military Moms, which also sends care packages to troops, at tristatemilitarymoms.com.
Many of the casino resorts give back to veterans’ programs and military causes throughout the year and also offer gaming promotions for veterans. Today, Nov. 11, Riverside Resort is offering $10 in free slot play when guests present any form of military ID at the King of Clubs Players’ Club booth. They also offer military discounts at the bowling alley, Riverside Lanes.
In honor of Veterans Day, Harrah’s Laughlin is offering up to 40% off hotel stays for veterans and active duty military who book future travel on Caesars.com from Nov. 4-15. Harrah’s Laughlin and the Tropicana Laughlin both offer an upgrade for veterans and active duty military who sign up for Caesars Rewards. Show your military ID at the Caesars Rewards Center to receive the SALUTE card, which is an upgrade to platinum level benefits.
Every Tuesday is Veterans Tuesday at the Avi Resort & Casino. Registered veterans can swipe their players’ card at the kiosk every Tuesday to receive 6x points on reels.