RICHMOND, Va. -- The 65th annual Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony took place Thursday at the Virginia War Memorial in honor of Virginia’s more than 700,000 Veterans and their families.
The ceremony was broadcast live on WTVR CBS 6 in Richmond. It was also streamed on the Virginia War Memorial and the Virginia Department of Veterans Services Facebook pages as well as the WTVR and WTKR Facebook pages.
The Honorable Kathleen Jabs, Virginia’s Acting Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, served as the ceremony's keynote speaker, which was held outdoors in the Memorial’s E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheater.
Patriotic music was provided by the 380th Army Band, the Benedictine College Preparatory Chorus, and the bagpipes of the combined clans of Benedictine and St. Andrew’s Legion. The program also included recognition of the winners of the Virginia War Memorial’s 2021 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest.
The Memorial’s newest major exhibit, “Who They Were: Lives Worth Remembering,” opened to the public after the ceremony.
“Veterans Day is a very special day of celebration here in the Commonwealth and especially here at the Virginia War Memorial. As our Shrines of Memory, historical exhibits and documentary films showcase, Virginians have proudly and unselfishly answered the call to defend and protect our state and our nation for over 250 years," Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle said. "Veterans Days gives all of us the opportunity to remember, honor and thank these men and women for their service and sacrifice.”
Virginia Department of Veterans Services Commissioner John Maxwell noted the ceremony marked the first chance for the public to commemorate Veterans Day in person at the Virginia War Memorial since the start of the pandemic.
“We are grateful that we can gather together to honor Virginia’s veterans and their service to our Nation,” Maxwell said.
The Virginia War Memorial was open to the public Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the ceremony and for visitation. Click here for more information.