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Virginia War Memorial To Host 76th Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony 2017 Ceremony Will Held Saturday, December 9  Due to Expansion Construction at Virginia War Memorial


John L. Newby II, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, will be the keynote speaker at the 76th Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony, at 11 a.m., Saturday, December 9 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

Co-hosted with the Richmond Council, Navy League of the United States, the annual ceremony will be held in the Shrine of Memory on the War Memorial grounds at 621 South Belvidere Street. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

This year’s ceremony will take place on December 9 instead of December 7 because of limited parking at the War Memorial which is undergoing a major expansion project. Additional parking will be available in the VHDA surface lot on Belvidere Street on December 9.

The son of a retired Army Sergeant Major, Commissioner Newby served in Iraq as an aviator aboard the Boeing B-1B Lancer strategic bomber and commanded an Air Force special operations forward air control unit.  He received his commission and B.S. degree from the United States Air Force Academy. Following his military service, Commissioner Newby earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia. He was appointed Commissioner by Governor Terry McAuliffe in October 2014.

The Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony will also include the laying of wreathes in memory of those Virginians who died on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 when the forces of Imperial Japan bombed and strafed the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Army airfield at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

“The names of each Virginian who perished at Pearl Harbor will be read and remembered with the tolling of the ship’s bell from the USS Virginia, which is on permanent display at the Virginia War Memorial,” said Milton Owen, Past President of the Navy League’s Richmond Council and Master of Ceremonies for the ceremony. “The stirring Navy hymn will also be sung.”

More than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 wounded during the surprise attack which resulted in the United States declaring war on the Japanese Empire and entering World War II.

For more information about the 76th Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony, please call the Virginia War Memorial at 804.786.2060 or visit

About The Navy League of the United States

The Navy League of the United States (NLUS) was founded in 1902 with the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt.  The League has grown into the foremost citizen’s organization to serve, support and stand with all sea services – U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. For more information on the Richmond Council of the Navy League of the United States, visit .

 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 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. For more information, please visit or www.facebook/virginiawarmemorial.

 About VDVS

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) operates 29 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, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and three cemeteries that provide an honored final resting place for veterans and their families. VDVS provides veterans and family members with direct linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs.  The Department also operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s monument to honor the memory and sacrifice of Virginia’s men and women who served and fought to defend our way of life from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit