Veteran’s Day is one of those holidays that don’t get the respect they deserve. It always is observed on November 11, which means it can fall on any day of the week. It’s a Federal holiday and a bank holiday, but many offices and schools are open. Still, it’s important to take time to honor veterans on Veteran’s Day.
The Marine Corps War Memorial At Dawn
In the Washington, D.C. area, there are many opportunities to observe Veteran’s Day, including a wreath-laying ceremony at 11 am the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and a Color guard and wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 1 pm.
I have to work on Veteran’s Day, but I planed a run around the National Mall that took me through Arlington National Cemetery, by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Korean War Memorial, and ended at the Marine Corps War Memorial.
Visiting the memorials in the pre-dawn hours, when it’s quiet and dark except for the lights illuminating them, is a moving experience.
The Marine Corps War Memorial Before Dawn
Of course Veteran’s Day isn’t just for honoring those who are gone. I have a number of friends and co-workers who are veterans, and will be thanking them for their service today too. I also will be saying this prayer from the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer:
For those in the Armed Forces of our Country
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Do you have any plans for observing Veteran’s Day?