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Governor Northam To Present Keynote Address At Commonwealth’s Patriot Day Ceremony At Virginia War Memorial in Richmond

Governor Ralph Northam will be the keynote speaker at the annual Commonwealth’s Patriot Day Ceremony, Thursday, September 11, 2019 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory at 621 South Belvidere Street. The event is free, will be held rain or shine, and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.

September 11 was designated by the United States Congress as Patriot Day, a National Day of Mourning, to honor and remember the 2,997 persons who died and the more than 6,000 who were injured as the result of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and at The Pentagon in Virginia on September 11, 2001.

The 380th Army Band Ensemble will play a medley of patriotic music prior to the ceremony, which will begin at 6 p.m. with opening remarks by Dr. Clay Mountcastle, Virginia War Memorial Director.  The National Anthem will be sung by Shannon Lilly, WTVR-TV CBS6 news reporter.

Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins will introduce guest speaker Governor Northam.  Following the Governor’s remarks, there will be additional patriotic music and the ringing of the ship’s bell from the USS Virginia by sailors from Navy Recruiting Station Richmond in memory of those killed on 9/11, and the presentation of memorial wreathes. Mike Harmon, retired chief and chaplain of Hanover County Fire and Emergency Services, will offer a closing prayer.

“We must never forget our fellow Americans and fellow Virginians who died during the terrorist attacks eighteen years ago on 9/11/01,” said Dr. Mountcastle. “These were the first direct attacks

on American soil since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It is our hope that the public will come and join us in remembering these heroes and their sacrifice and reaffirm our resolve to stand up to all who would attack our Nation. This Patriot Day Ceremony is a time for all of us to stand up and be proud of the freedoms on which our Nation was founded.”

Due to expansion construction at the Virginia War Memorial, parking will be limited on site. Parking for the Patriot Day ceremony will be available after 5 p.m. at the VHDA surface lot at 601 South Belvidere Street and at the Afton Chemical Corporation surface lot at the corner of Spring and Belvidere Streets. For more information, please visit www.vawarmemorial.org, www.dvs.virginia.gov or call the Memorial at 804.786.2060.

About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire 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 Memorial is currently undergoing a major $28 million expansion project. 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 have served in our military.  For more details, visit www.virginiawarmemorial.org or www.dvs.virginia.gov .

 About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 operating locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.