Area observes Veterans Day
The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month ...
For 100 years, that phrase has become so closely associated with the holiday formerly known as Armistice Day but better known now as Veterans Day. For it was at that precise time -- 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, that an armistice between the allies of the United State and Germany was signed, all but ending World War I, the “War to End All Wars.”
And while the official peace treaty was not signed until 1919, Nov. 11 is, and always will be, considered the true end of the war.
More importantly, it has been expanded to honor not just those who lost their lives in World War I but also to honor all veterans, living or dead, of all wars and police actions in which the United States was a part.
This year, as part of the armistice centennial, several localities will hold special observances, including a first-ever Veterans Day parade in Hopewell.
Beginning at 11 a.m., churches across the city will ring bells to commemorate the day. That also will be the starting time of the annual Veterans Day ceremony at City Point National Cemetery, where members of Hopewell High School’s JROTC already will have placed miniature American flags on each of the graves.
During the ceremony, Charles Wissinger, a Richmond-based actor and historical interpreter, will be dressed as a World War I soldier -- commonly called a “doughboy” -- and talk about military life during the war.
Following the ceremony, the American Legion Post 146 will host a luncheon at its post home on East City Point Road.
At 3 p.m., the first-ever Veterans Day Parade in Hopewell will leave the Cavalier Square area and move toward Ashford Civic Plaza in downtown. It will follow the same path as the city’s Christmas Parade -15th Avenue to City Point Road, City Point Road to Main Street, then Main Street to West Broadway and the plaza.
Cara Buckley, public relations and marketing manager for the VFW, said approximately 35 entries from across the area will be in the parade, but she was hoping to get in a couple of more before Sunday.
The Beacon Theatre will host a free concert of patriotic music at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia will commemorate the centennial with a tolling of the 1917 Courthouse bell in honor of the 19 Chesterfield County residents who died serving in World War I. There also will be a performance by the St. Augustine Church Choir, a presentation of banners and wreaths, a color guard and a viewing of tactical vehicles from the 502nd Transportation Company.
After the ceremony, the Chesterfield Twinning Association will host a musical performance inside the Historic 1917 Courthouse. Participants can visit exhibits in the Chesterfield County Museum and the Historic 1892 Jail, including the new “Chesterfield Remembers World War I: A Centennial Commemoration.”
The event will take place at 2 p.m. at the Chesterfield County Government Complex, 6819 Mimms Loop.
On Nov. 12, John Tyler Community College will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in Hamel Hall, room H109, at the Midlothian Campus, located at 800 Charter Colony Parkway.
Also during the ceremony, the Rolling Thunder Chapter 5 VA will present the college and its Student Veterans Organization with a POW/MIA flag, and the college will recognize its faculty, staff and student veterans. The ceremony will conclude with a memorial tree planting.
The American Legion Post 284 and the VFW Post 2239 will host its annual Veterans Day observance at 11 a.m. Sunday at the city’s War Memorial, located on the Boulevard across from the city Courthouse. In addition to the wreath-laying and speeches, the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade from Fort Lee will provide the firing party, and Post 284 will provide the color guard. Music will come from third-graders at Tussing Elementary School.
Following the ceremony, an open house will be held at the American Legion post home on Springdale Avenue.
Dunlop House Assisted Living & Memory Care, located at 235 Dunlop Farms Boulevard in Colonial Heights, will host a special veterans’ ceremony this Friday at 1 p.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
Dunlop House, in partnership with the VFW Post 2239, has also created a Flag Field at the facility. More than 200 flags on on display in front of Dunlop House in honor of Veteran’s Day. Attached to each flag is the name of one of Virginia’s fallen military personnel who passed away in the line of duty since serving after 2003. The public is invited to view the Flag Field now until Nov. 12.
Pamplin Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is building its commemoration around service of all members from the American Revolution to the present day.
The park will hold a ceremony at 11 a.m. Sunday. It will feature colors presentation by the Virginia State University ROTC, a bell-ringing service and artillery salute, and a living-history presentation focusing on World War I doughboy life.
Also, park staff will lead a walking tour through the original Civil War earthworks at the park and their parallels with the World War I trenches.
Throughout the day, a special display of artifacts from World War I will be on display inside the museum.
Prince George County
The annual Veterans Day observance will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday on the lawn of the Heritage Center (the 1883 Courthouse), 6406 Courthouse Road. The center will have on display its War Memorial Project, remembering all those from Prince George who died in service of their country..
This event is sponsored jointly by the Prince George County Regional Heritage Center and American Legion Post 120.
Petersburg National Battlefield
On the eve of Veterans Day, Petersburg National Battlefield will honor veterans past and present by “literally shedding light on the gravesites of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to defend their country”. The annual luminary program will be held Saturday evening at Poplar Grove National Cemetery, located at 8005 Vaughan Road in Dinwiddie County. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.
This year’s event will focus on the stories of World War I soldiers laid to rest at Poplar Grove.
Due to space limitations, there will be no parking allowed at Poplar Grove National Cemetery. Park staff, volunteers and visitors can park at Richard Bland College, located at 11301 Johnson Road, in South Prince George, where a free shuttle will provide transportation to and from the cemetery. The first shuttle will depart from Richard Bland College at 4 p.m. and will make continuous round trips to the cemetery with the last shuttle departing Poplar Grove at 8:15 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring flashlights to help avoid stepping on tree roots. This event may be cancelled due to bad weather.
Cadet Lt. Col Sean Wood, left, and Cadet Lt. Col. Chosen Rivers, right, members of Hopewell High School’s ROTC program, plant flags on the graves at City Point Cemetery in Hopewell in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 7. Numerous ceremonies and parades are being held around the region over the weekend to celebrate Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11.