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Veterans Day Observances 2010

photo by M.V. JantzenThere's perhaps no better place to celebrate Veterans Day and to remember those who served than Washington, DC. We're chock full of Memorials to various wars, branches of service, units, military notables, and so on.

Tomorrow will be the ground breaking of a new memorial in the nation's capital: the Disabled Veterans' Disabled for Life Memorial. Actor Gary Sinise, who played a disabled veterans in Forest Gump and who is deeply involved in veteran's causes, will headline the ceremony, which starts at 10:30 tomorrow. The Memorial will be near the Botanic Gardens, on the corner of 2nd St and Washington Ave SW. Nearest Metro is Federal Center SW.

Of course, the largest ceremony for Veterans Day is the wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The wreath laying will be at 11 am, with a service to follow at the adjacent Memorial Amphitheater. If you wish to have a ghost of a chance to see the ceremony, I'd recommend you be there no later than 9:30 (if not before). Unlike other days, you can not walk to the Tomb, and must take the shuttle bus. You will also have to go to security so leave just about everything you don't need at home.

If perhaps you'd prefer to directly reach out to a servicemember, the American Red Cross will be hosting a Holiday Mail for Heroes event from 9 am to 4 pm this Thursday. Singer Amy Grant will be performing, and supplies will be provided if you wish to make a personalized card to be sent for the holidays.

Beyond that, most military specific memorials have a wreath laying ceremony of some sort. Here's a quick round up (all are on Veteran's Day unless otherwise specified):

So, if the logistical difficulties of attending the service at Arlington are daunting, there's many other options to choose from to pay your respects. Quite often, these "smaller" ceremonies can be more intimate, and more moving.

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