Military monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C., are always favorite – and appropriate – Veterans Day destinations for veterans, servicemembers and their families. These sacred sites host a number of special Veterans Day events and ceremonies each year.
Traditionally, a senior leader of The American Legion takes part in Washington’s tributes to those who have served our country in uniform. This year, National Vice Commander and Navy veteran Robert E. Newman will represent the Legion.
Newman will begin the day at the White House with a breakfast reception hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. He will then travel across the Potomac River with fellow dignitaries to Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia for the annual presidential Veterans Day wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Afterward, he will visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to lay a wreath at The Wall on behalf of the Legion and to help observe the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Retired Army nurse and Vietnam War veteran Margarethe “Grethe” Cammermeyer will speak at the ceremony as will retired Army Gen. Colin Powell. The 11 a.m. (EST) Arlington National Cemetery and 1:00 p.m. (EST) Vietnam Veterans Memorial wreath laying ceremonies are open to the public, though seating is limited at the cemetery’s amphitheater.
Other publicly accessible Veterans Day observances include a wreath laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial and a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery’s Women in Military Service for American Memorial gateway at 3:00 p.m. (EST). And at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, Vietnam-era veterans and the children of veterans will be recounting their wartime experiences in storytelling sessions before and after the Veterans Day ceremony at The Wall. Ceremonies at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., the National Marine Corps Museum in Triangle, Va., and the Navy Memorial in downtown Washington are also planned, as are parades and other observances in surrounding communities.
Volunteers from The American Legion’s headquarters in Washington will be manning an information booth for Veterans Day visitors near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Nov. 11th, as well.