This Friday, November 11, 2016, is Veterans Day, a time to reflect on the work of our nation’s military and give thanks to all who have served. Below we have gathered a list of activities in our area to celebrate Veterans Day. Some events are serious ceremonies meant to honor servicemen and servicewomen. Other events are more festive occasions providing entertainment, speakers, and other activities along with the memorials. And some events are just for fun, a way to say “thanks” and give a break (such as free admission) to members of the military.
Please note: Veterans Day is a holiday for some businesses but it’s NOT a school holiday for Fairfax County Public Schools but a few of these events (concert on the National Mall and the Native American Pow-wow at George Mason University, continue into the evening).
Memorial ceremonies in and near Fairfax County, on Friday, November 11, include:
- Town of Herndon Veteran’s Day observance, 11 am at the Veteran’s Memorial behind the Herndon Municipal Center
- City of Falls Church Veterans Day ceremony, 11 am at the city’s Veterans Memorial
- Wreath-laying and other ceremonies at Mount Vernon Estate, (free for all active duty, former, or retired military personnel; admission fees for others)
- Veterans Powwow at George Mason University featuring a veterans’ honor ceremony; the daylong event features traditional Native American culture throughout the day, noon-8 pm, free to the public, and takes place outside of the Student Union Building I under a heated tent
Events in Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA, on November 11 include:
- Wreath-laying ceremony (1 pm) and other activities at the Navy Memorial
- Creation of care packages for hospitalized veterans at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial ceremony at 1 pm at the Veterans Memorial wall
- Vietnam Women’s Memorial ceremony and storytelling 9 am to noon
- World War II Memorial wreath-laying ceremony at 9 am
- Arlington National Cemetery memorial ceremony, one of its biggest annual remembrance ceremonies
FOR FAMILY FUN
- November 11: Enjoy the Veterans Powwow at George Mason University featuring a veterans’ honor ceremony at 4:30 pm, plus activities throughout the day (noon-8 pm) including Native American music and dancing, social dances, and games for kids; this is a free community event
- November 11: Watch a wreath-laying ceremony and enjoy music and demonstrations at Mount Vernon Estate, (free for all active duty, former, or retired military personnel; admission fees for others)
- November 11: Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria offers free museum tours on Veteran’s Day to all guests and will focus on the American Legion’s important role in saving this historic site
- November 11: Enjoy free admission at all national parks, such as Great Falls Park
- November 11: Receive discounted admission (just $5 for children of military parents with valid military ID or DD214) at Monkey Joe’s Dulles in Sterling
- November 12 (Saturday): Fort Ward Park offers soldier-led tours in honor of Veterans Day. Tours (at 10 am and 2 pm) focus on Civil War veterans organizations, the history and construction of Fort Ward, and soldier life in the defense system; admission is free.