Thank you to all who helped produce our 2020 Veterans Day Ceremony. Below is an excerpt from Executive Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle’s opening remarks during the Virginia War Memorial’s Veterans Day Ceremony, as well as the broadcast of the full ceremony.
The year 2020 and a global pandemic continue to rob us of our normal experiences. Usually, this ceremony would be held outdoors in Heilman Amphitheater with hundreds if not thousands in attendance. On a rainy day like today, we would normally move into our Shrine of Memory and carry on. But we cannot gather in large numbers or in close spaces these days. Safety comes first,
and any veteran will tell you that. But being safe does not negate the need to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of our women and men in uniform.
No pandemic, no social unrest, no national political dialogue, not even a rainy day, is going to deter or otherwise drown out our annual “Thank You” to veterans. The men and women of the US military, past and present, have never failed us. We should remember that fact every single day, no matter what the year or political climate.
Military service is increasingly rare in this country. Less than 7% of the US population has worn the uniform. That small slice of Americans represents the best of us.
Veterans love this country, and we must never fail to love them back.