Every November 11th, our nation celebrates the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We will highlight a few of 2016’s Veterans Day events in Washington DC and Northern Virginia, but first, let’s take a moment to reflect on the day’s meaning.
How Did the Veterans Day Celebration Begin?
Not to be confused with Memorial Day, which specifically honors those who died while serving in the military, Veterans Day began as Armistice Day in 1919. On the anniversary of the armistice with Germany that ended World War I, President Woodrow Wilson spoke of the sacrifices and triumphs that should be recognized. Two decades later, it became a national holiday with the focus of working towards world peace.
Following the end of World War II, efforts in Alabama began to expand the holiday’s recognition to all military veterans. Raymond Weeks, a Birmingham native and veteran considered by many to be the father of Veterans Day, was a driving force behind this movement. Success came first when Alabama celebrated Veterans Day in 1947 and then again in 1954 when the national holiday’s name was officially changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Ceremonies on Veterans Day
There are a number of events happening on November 11th. Arlington National Cemetery’s Veterans Day service begins at 11am and includes a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Seating is limited.
The Women in Military Service for America Memorial is the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, and it features exhibits that highlight the contributions women have made to American military history. Their free holiday ceremony is open to the public and begins later that afternoon at 3pm.
Hear the experiences of Vietnam veterans and their families at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan involving current soldiers will also be included. You can take part from 9am-12pm and from 2-4pm. Between those two sessions, at 1pm, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will feature a wreath-laying ceremony honoring those who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War and America’s other conflicts.
Veterans Day Parade in Manassas, Virginia
On Saturday, November 12th, the Greater Manassas Veterans Day Parade extends the honors to first responders. Bands, scout troops, veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and more participate in the festivities. Plan ahead for parking, and show your support for these brave men and women at the largest Veterans Day parade in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area.
Military Discount at ezStorage
ezStorage proudly celebrates the men and women who serve our country, and we are happy to offer a 10% military storage discount for all active duty (or soon to be active duty). Let our trusted professionals assist you with finding the self-storage solution that fits your needs.