On Sunday, Veterans Day, Americans will honor military veterans with ceremonies and tributes. Nov. 11 (the legal public holiday for Veterans Day), falls on a Sunday. For most federal employees, Monday, Nov. 12, will be treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes.
Veterans Day has its roots in Armistice Day, which was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Seven years later, President Calvin Coolidge issued another proclamation to commemorate Armistice Day with ceremonies. Armistice Day was officially changed in 1956 to Veterans Day.
You can read President Obama's 2012 proclamation observing Veterans Day here.
The following events will take place across Northern Virginia in observance of Veterans Day:
Arlington Memorial Cemetery will host a National Veterans Day Observance ceremony with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Memorial Amphitheater on Sunday at 11 a.m. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend. If you can't make it, you can view the ceremony at whitehouse.gov/live.
Historic Mount Vernon is offering free admission Sunday to active duty, former or retired military on Veterans Day. The Estate will host a free patriotic community concert by the Harmony Heritage Singers in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium Sunday at 11 a.m. and a wreathlaying ceremony. For more information, visit www.mountvernon.org.
Fairfax County Public Schools, which are open on Monday, are hosting events on Monday and beyond to celebrate Veterans Day:
Mount Vernon High School honors veterans with a special Veterans Day ceremony Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. in Bratten Hall. The Madrigals will perform, and local military members will speak about their experience. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday at 1 p.m., West Potomac High School’s Army JROTC program will host U.S. Army Brigadier General John Poppe, chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, who will serve as the featured speaker and reviewing officer at a Veterans Day ceremony. Current and former members of the military will be honored at the ceremony.
Students at Fort Hunt Elementary School will hold a Web conference between a parent currently serving in the military in Afghanistan and sixth grade students on Monday beginning at 11 a.m. The students will discuss what life is like in Afghanistan and what the parent’s job entails.
Also on Monday:
- Washington Mill Elementary School will host its annual Veterans Day breakfast at 9 a.m. for invited veterans from the community, and special Veterans Day-related events will take place at:
- Soldiers and veterans are invited to lunch at Deer Park Elementary School in Centreville.
- Veterans will lead students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance following breakfast at White Oaks in Burke.
On Thursday, at 1:30 p.m., Franconia Elementary School students will present the musical, “This Is America,” designed to honor veterans from the community.
On Wednesday, Nov. 28, Chantilly High School will host its fourth annual Veterans Dinner by candlelight. This dinner was created and organized by members of the Chantilly National Honor Society; food is prepared and served by Culinary Arts students from Chantilly Academy. Performing arts students from the school will sing and play music after the meal. This student-generated evening is a way for the students to say "thank you" to the veterans who attend and enables veterans from different wars to enjoy conversation and share stories with each other.