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Want to celebrate Veteran's Day and show your gratitude? Turn on your porch light.

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Turning on your porch light for Veterans Day and Memorial Day is quickly becoming a Grand Rapids tradition.

Grand Rapids city-wide light event becoming a new tradition as partnerships grow.

In honor of the men and women who have served in the armed forces, the city of Grand Rapids is asking its residents and businesses to light up the outside of their homes or buildings over Veteran’s Day weekend…

It’s a new tradition in the city of Grand Rapids—turn on a porch light, or leave a light on in the window that faces the street---in an act of showing support and gratitude to those who have served in the armed forces.

It began in 2020 during the pandemic, when city officials still wanted to honor military veterans after the cancellation of the Memorial Day parade. City officials say the overwhelming positive response has encouraged Grand Rapids to continue to do each year from here on out both on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Evette Pittman is the special events manager at the City’s Office of Special Events.

“We want to recognize this important day by lighting Grand Rapids,” said Evette Pittman, special events manager at the City’s Office of Special Events. “We want to show appreciation and remember the sacrifices of those who bravely serve our nation in a way that allows everyone in our community to participate.”

Pittman says the event has generated multiple partners in the city who will light up their businesses including the JW Marriot, The Amway Tower and the Ford Airport—but she says the real support should come from the city’s residents.

“So light up that house,” she said.

Also in observation, the United Veterans Countil of Kent County will host a flag lowering ceremony at 1PM Thursday, Veterans Day, at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans at 1PM. All are invited.

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