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Governor McAuliffe To Address 2016 Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Virginia War Memorial “A Celebration of Service” Is Theme of 60th Annual Program

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will deliver the keynote address at the 60th Annual Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony to be held at 10 a.m., Friday, November 11 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

The theme of this year’s program is “A Celebration of Service,” honoring all men and women who have served or currently serve in America’s armed forces – from the Revolutionary War to present day.

The ceremony, which will be held in the E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheater on the War Memorial grounds at 621 South Belvidere Street, is free of charge and the public is encouraged to attend. Co-hosts are the American Legion District 11.

Joining Governor McAuliffe at the Veterans Day Ceremony will be Virginia’s Secretary of Defense and Veterans Affairs John Harvey, and other distinguished guests. Patriotic music will be provided the U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band from Fort Eustis, Virginia.

New this year will be the reading of the winning essays by a Virginia middle school and high school student who participated in the Memorial’s Veterans Day Essay Contest.

“At the Virginia War Memorial, we seek to honor those Virginians that have made the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s wars, to preserve their history, and pass their story on to future generations,” said Dr. Clay Mountcastle, the Memorial’s Director.

“Each year, Veterans Day and Memorial Day are two of our most anticipated and well-attended ceremonies at the Virginia War Memorial,” Dr. Mountcastle added. “However, they are not the same holiday and each has its own purpose, so they should not have similar programs. Veterans Day celebrates all who served while Memorial Day remembers those who gave the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms.”

Dr. Mountcastle noted that while past programs have included the presentation of wreaths in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory, there will be no formal wreath laying ceremony during the 2016 Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony. “The presentation of wreaths in remembrance of our fallen heroes will instead remain an important part of the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony to be held on Monday, May 29, 2017,” he said.

The 60th Annual Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony will be held rain or shine. The Virginia War Memorial’s Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center will be open for tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 11. For more information, please call 804.786.2060 or visit or Facebook/virginiawarmemorial.

About the Virginia War Memorial
The Virginia War Memorial’s mission is Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Instill Patriotism in All. Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who served in our military forces.

About the Virginia War Memorial Foundation
Founded in 2000, The Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) is the non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation dedicated to the financial support of all of the educational outreach, patriotic programs, historical exhibits and documentary films of the Virginia War Memorial. Donations to the Foundation from individuals, corporations, military and veterans groups and other organizations may be tax-deductible and are encouraged and appreciated. For more information or to donate online, please visit