While it’s not the flashiest holiday on the calendar, Veterans Day is right up our alley. Nothing says Virginia more than tradition, history, and honoring those who have blazed a way to a better future.
In fact, it was a notable Virginia-born president, Woodrow Wilson, born in Staunton, Virginia, who got the ball rolling with Armistice Day in 1919. Originally designed to honor those who served in World War I and to celebrate the end of “The Great War”, the holiday finally came to rest in the 1970’s as Veterans Day on the 11th of every November, the same day as the original WWI Armistice signing.
And there’s probably no better place in the country for sheer volume of closely-located sites honoring our military heroes. Within a weekend (maybe without getting out of your car) you can easily visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Arlington National Cemetery, the Air Force Memorial, the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, and the Tomb of the Unknowns.
This of course doesn’t even begin to account for the number of Civil War sites and historic homes like Mount Vernon sprinkled liberally up and down the I-95 corridor. You can’t swing a ceremonial parade saber without hitting a Virginia site honoring her veterans.
Veterans Day events and sites are not exclusive to the Washington D.C. region, either. Nearly every Virginia city and town has a parade or similar event celebrating our men and women in uniform past and present. You can find many of them here at http://www.virginia.org/VeteransDay.