Celebrating Veterans Day in Washington
To honor our country’s veterans, here are wreath-laying ceremonies, special events, and more taking place on November 11.
The US Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) has several events lined up to commemorate Veterans Day, beginning with a book signing at noon. David Sears will sign copies of At War With the Wind, a study of Japanese kamikaze fighters during World War II. At 1, a wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled at the memorial followed by a screening of the film Pappy Boyington Field, which details a controversy-ridden campaign by veterans groups to honor a World War II major.
The National Museum of American Jewish Military History (1811 R St., NW; 202-265-6280) is presenting a unique Veterans Day perspective with its presentation entitled “Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art.” Szyk, who died in 1951, was a World War I veteran and later an active member of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States organization. Irvin Ungar, who curates the Arthur Szyk Society, will speak on Syzk’s art and its powerful political messages. The two-hour presentation begins at 1.
Earlier this year, the National Museum of the American Indian (Fourth St. and Independence Ave., SW) issued a call for four-minute documentaries to be entered in a short-film contest for Veterans Day. On Wednesday, the top three winners of Answering the Call will have their work screened along with other films focusing on the experiences of Native Americans in the military. The screenings, which are free, take place in the Rasmuson Theater at 11:30 and 3:30.
Active and veteran military personnel can get free entrance to the Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.; 703-780-2000), where special events begin with an all-veteran barbershop chorus concert at 11. At 2, stop by Washington’s tomb for a wreath-laying ceremony. Historical reenactments of Martha Washington speaking about her experiences with veterans will take place at 1 and 3 in the Little Theater.
Free wreath-laying ceremonies will be held at the following locations:
• The World War II Memorial at 8.
• Arlington National Cemetery at 11—with full military honors at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The ceremony will be followed by an observance program from the Department of Veterans Affairs, held in the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington. Get there early because amphitheater seating is limited. A free shuttle will run from the Arlington Cemetery Visitors Center to the amphitheater starting at 8. Call 703-607-8000 for more information. Free.
• The African-American Civil War Memorial (Vermont Ave. and U St., NW) at 11 followed by a reception in the nearby museum. Call 202-426-6924 for more information.
• The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Constitution Ave. and Henry Bacon Dr., NW) at 1. The scheduled speakers include active military personnel and veterans; Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund founder and president Jan Scruggs is the host. Bagpiper Chris Jackson and musicians Sam Bierstock and John Melnick will perform.
• The First Division Monument and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at 10:45.