RICHMOND, Va. -- Severe weather forced the annual Commonwealth's Veterans Day Ceremony indoors on Friday.
"I think it was a good call that we moved inside," Virginia War Memorial director Clay Mountcastle said. "The Army guys would have liked it [outside in the rain] and green guys would have loved it. Everybody else would have been like, 'No, I don't want to be here.'"
The indoor ceremony still allowed dozens of men, women, and children to honor veterans who served in the United States military.
"On Veterans Day, we recognize their service, as well as those who came before us, and we salute you today," Virginia National Guard (VNG)
Maj. Gen. Timothy Williams said, who recalled a recent meetings with current VNG soldiers who had been deployed and World War Two. "From the young troopers, who recently deployed overseas, to these World War Two greats — the legacy of service and sacrifice continues."
An overarching theme Friday was the continuation of service, as each new generation answers the call.
"Because what really brings us all together this morning, is a love of this country. Pride in what we as Americans stand for and pride in those Americans among us that have loved this country so much that they have served it and defended it and continue to do so," said Mountcastle. "Our veterans, past and present, represent the best of this country. They are exceptional Americans and, in turn, they make America exceptional. One need only look to the beaches of Normandy, the ruins of the Berlin wall, or to Arlington National Cemetery for evidence of American exceptionalism."
Governor Glenn Youngkin (R - Virginia) highlighted those in his family who have served.
"This is not a break in commitment in our nation. It is a generational handoff. To see grandfathers give to grandsons and nephews stand up for their uncles and their aunt," he said.
At the end of the service, each branch's song was played and veterans of each branch were given a chance to stand and be recognized.
Among them was former Army platoon sergeant and Special Forces veteran Jerry L. Johnson, who served for 21 years.
"I served with every, what they termed, elite physical military unit in the Army," said Johnson.
Johnson said he was glad to be back to his first War Memorial service in several years after health issues kept him away. He said he enjoyed seeing so many generations of service.
"I feel it in my heart," he said. "I feel so good just looking at the young people that still love our country and love the way that we are treated here."
Friday's service was streamed on CBS 6's Facebook page and can be viewed here.
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