Governor Ralph Northam and Speaker Kirk Cox To Speak at Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony - Ceremony Kicks Off Commemoration of 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Kirk Cox, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, will speak at the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony on Sunday, November 11, at 11 a.m. in the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater in Richmond’s Byrd Park.
A special Armistice Day Festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I will follow the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony. The Armistice Day Festival will be held at the Virginia War Memorial Carillon, adjacent to Dogwood Dell in Byrd Park, and will run from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend both events.
The Armistice between the victorious Allied nations and Germany was signed at Compiegne, France at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918 (“The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”) November 11 was designated as Armistice Day in the United States following WWI. The day was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor American veterans of all wars.
The Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony will begin with a solemn tolling of the bells of the Carillon twenty-one times in remembrance of the more than 100,000 Virginians who served in World War I. Churches across the Commonwealth and America will be participating in this simultaneous tolling.
In addition to remarks from Governor Northam and Speaker Cox, who serves as chair of the Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission, the Virginia National Guard WWI Honor Guard will present the colors dressed in the uniforms of WWI soldiers and the 392nd Army Band Ensemble will provide patriotic music.
The Virginia War Memorial Carillon, which was dedicated in 1932 to honor the approximately 3,700 Virginians killed in the World War (as World War I was then known in the United States), is currently undergoing extensive renovations. The newly restored first floor will be open and will be filled with historical and interactive exhibits from various museums and organizations, student artwork commemorating WWI, and more. The Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission’s Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour will be open for visitors, and historical reenactments, crafts, and activities are planned on the grounds around the Carillon.
Parking is free on street and in lots adjacent to the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater. For more information or directions, please visit www.virginiawwiandwwii.org/armistice.
The Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia War Memorial are hosting the ceremony and exhibits in partnership with the Virginia Department of General Services and the City of Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation.
About the Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission
The Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission was created by the Virginia General Assembly to plan, develop and carry out programs and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II. Commission members include Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (chair); Senator Frank Ruff (vice-chair); Senator Bryce Reeves; Delegates Gordon Helsel, Tim Hugo and Marcus Simon; Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr.; Brigadier General John W. Mountcastle (USA, Ret.); Commissioner John L. Newby II of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services; and Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle. For more information, visit www.virginiawwiandwwii.org.
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. Situated on nearly five acres at 621 South Belvidere Street in Richmond, 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. For more information, visit www.vawarmemorial.org
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) operates 31 benefit offices throughout the state that assist military veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans’ benefits; two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitative care for veterans; and three cemeteries that provide an honored final resting place for veterans and their families. DVS provides veterans and family members with direct linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.