Veterans Day is a special day in D.C., with many different ways to honor veterans happening at the memorials all over the city.
Here are some of the ways that veterans were recognized this week, with both major events and smaller individual remembrances.
100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The 100th anniversary of the internment of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery was celebrated this year in a three-day event ending on Veterans Day. For the first time in 100 years, the public was allowed to walk across the plaza by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an area which is normally reserved for the infantry sentinels. The cemetery has stated that “we do not anticipate holding another event in our lifetimes in which the public will be able to approach the Tomb in this manner.”
Each person was limited to placing a single flower at the tomb, and periodically soldiers would pick up handfuls of the flowers and move them closer to the tomb. This photo shows the accumulation after just one hour of people leaving flowers:
World War I Memorial
World War II Memorial
Korean War Memorial
Marine Corps Memorial
Veterans March for D.C. Statehood
There are more than 30,000 veterans who are D.C. residents, and therefore do not get voting representation in Congress. On Veterans Day, they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza to the Capitol.
In addition to the major ceremonies, people came to all the memorials for remembrance, celebration, and leaving tributes. Here are a few scenes from this week:
Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day
Here’s how the Department of Defense describes the difference between the holidays:
Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.
Veterans’ visits to D.C.
One of the ways that veterans are honored is to help them visit the memorials in D.C. There are many organizations that are involved – we’ve written previously about the Honor Flight Network which bring veterans to D.C. for a day of seeing Arlington Cemetery and the war memorials.
Thank you to all who serve.