The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) today announced that the 2020 Commonwealth Memorial Day Ceremony will be presented as a “virtual” event to honor Virginia’s fallen heroes. The half-hour ceremony will be broadcast and livestreamed from the Virginia War Memorial Shrine of Memory beginning at 10 a.m. E.D.T. on Monday, May 25. The ceremony will feature a combination of live and recorded content from the Virginia War Memorial and the state veterans cemeteries.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, public Memorial Day Ceremonies will not be held this year at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond or at the state veterans cemeteries in Amelia, Dublin, and Suffolk. However, the grounds of the Virginia War Memorial and the state veterans cemeteries will be open to visitors, subject to the current COVID-19 social distance rules and guidelines. At the cemeteries, an American flag will be posted on all gravesites and the Avenue of Flags will line cemetery roadways from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day.
The latest information on viewing the virtual Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony and visitation procedures at the Virginia War Memorial and at the state veterans cemeteries will be posted on the VDVS website: www.dvs.virginia.gov.
VDVS deeply regrets that it cannot hold public Memorial Day ceremonies this year to honor the thousands of heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Commonwealth and our Nation. This decision was made to conform to current state emergency orders to protect the health and well-being of veterans, families, participants, staff members, and others who normally attend these ceremonies. The pubic is invited and encouraged to participate in the virtual ceremony which will focus on honoring our Nation’s and our Commonwealth’s heroes who died in service.
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans. Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.
About the Virginia War Memorial
The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All. Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military. It is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220.
The Virginia War Memorial is and will always be the Commonwealth’s tribute to those who served and most especially, to those who died defending our freedoms. Every day is truly Memorial Day at the Virginia War Memorial. It is the hope of all that with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, that the public will return to the Memorial to visit its Shrines, exhibits and view its documentary films that pass on the stories of service and sacrifice of Virginia’s heroes. For more information, please visit www.vawarmemorial.org.
About Virginia’s State Veterans Cemeteries
The mission of Virginia’s three state veterans cemeteries is to provide a dignified final resting place for veterans and eligible dependents. The Cemetery Services division of VDVS operates and lovingly maintains the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, and the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin. The cemeteries are places of honor, dignity, respect, and remembrance. The cemeteries accommodate in-ground burial of casketed remains, in-ground inurnment of cremated remains, and above-ground inurnment of cremated remains in a columbarium. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov/cemeteries.
Flag Certificate presentation ceremonies by the Sons of the American Revolution
On June 14, 2021, the Colonel James Wood II (CJWII) Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted two Flag Certificate Presentation Ceremonies. These certificates are presented to individuals, companies or government offices who properly display the flag for patriotic purposes.
The first program was held at the Korean War Memorial in Winchester. The Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) participated in the ceremony and was represented by David Clark, Steve Culbert, Marshall DeHaven, Dickie Ewing, Lew Ewing, Gary Fletcher, Rob Shirley, Herb Taylor and Raleigh Watson. All of these individuals served in Korea as members of the military.
The event was opened with a prayer by Dan Hesse and the CJWII color guard presenting the colors. The ceremony was emceed by Dale Corey who gave a presentation on what the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is and it’s patriotic, educational and historic goals of perpetuating the memory of the colonial era.
Lew Ewing followed with a presentation on the KWVA and the history of Flag Day. This was followed by wreath presentations from the Korean Vets and the SAR to honor the flag and the service of our fighting forces in Korea. This was followed by a musket salute, Taps and a Benediction by Dan Hesse. Color Guard members were Sean Carrigan, Dale Corey, Thomas “Chip” Daniel, Doug Hall, Brett Osborn, Dennis Parmerter, Allan Phillips, Nathan Poe, Marc Robinson and Mike St. Jacques.
The second event was held at the Handley Library with a Flag Certificate presented to the library staff. Brett Osborn and Thomas “Chip” Daniel presented John Huddy, Library Director and Ann White, Deputy Director with the certificate while a color guard stood at present arms to honor the flag and the library for the exemplary, patriotic display of the flag.
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Sons of the American Revolution participate in Flag Day events
On June 12, 2021, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution went to Culpeper to participate in Flag Day events.
At the first event, we were represented by Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Kelly Ford and dual members Ken Bonner, Mike Dennis, Charles Jameson, Bill Schwetke and Mike Weyler. Assisting was potential member Mike St. Jacques. The event was held at the memorial honoring the Culpeper Minutemen who participated in the Revolutionary War. Charles Jameson, President of the Culpeper Minutemen emceed the program with assistance from Tom Hamill. Ken Bonner led the Virginia Society Color Guard in posting the colors to start the event.
The program consisted of descriptions and display of nine flags from the colonial era. After the presentation, wreaths were presented by Mike Weyler, Governor Virginia Order of Founders and Patriots; Charles Jameson, President Culpeper Minutemen Chapter; Dale Corey, Past President Colonel James Wood II Chapter; Ken Bonner, Virginia Color Guard Commander, Fairfax Resolves Chapter; Carol Simpson, Regent, Culpeper Minutemen DAR Chapter; and Cat Schwetke, Fauquier Courthouse DAR Chapter. The Virginia Society Musket Squad led by Commander Ken Bonner fired a salute. Musketeers included Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Thomas “Chip” Daniel, Mike Dennis, Kelly Ford and Mike St. Jacques.
After the completion of the ceremony, a number of compatriots went to the home of Patricia and Patrick Slater to present a Flag Certificate for their patriotic display of the American Flag. Culpeper Minutemen President Charles Jameson presented the certificate assisted by Tom Hamill. An honor guard consisting of Sean Carrigan (CJWII), Dale Corey (CJWII), Thomas “Chip” Daniel (CJWII), Mike Dennis (CMM) and Kelly Ford (CJWII) provided a salute to the Slaters and the American Flag.
NFL Youth Co-Ed Flag Football League accepting registrations
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department will be accepting registrations for its NFL Youth Co-Ed Flag Football League beginning Monday, June 14, 2021, through Friday, July 9, 2021. This league is sponsored and governed by the National Football League.
This league is for players who will attain the age of five (5) before August 1, 2021, and who will not attain the age of twelve (12) before August 1, 2021. Age divisions will be 5-6 year olds, 6-8 year olds and 9-11 year olds, if registration numbers allow.
Proof of age eligibility is required at time of registration. The cost is $60.00 per child.
Practices will be held weekly through October 2021, and games will be played on Saturdays starting in August (subject to change).
COVID-19 capacity and guidelines will be followed.
Registration information can be obtained by contacting the Warren County Community Center, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., weekend and evening hours may vary at (540) 635-1021 or via email at email@example.com.
Sons of the American Revolution conduct Flag Retirement Ceremony
On June 11, 2021, the Colonel James Wood II (CJWII) Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a Flag Retirement Ceremony in conjunction with the Wayside Inn, Middletown, Virginia. The ceremony is a formal disposal of worn American Flags.
Dale Corey opened the ceremony with a welcome and a presentation on what the Sons of the American Revolution is and the primary goals and objectives of the organization. The primary goal is to preserve the memory of the colonial era through educational, historic and patriotic means. One of these is the formal disposal of the flag.
Dan Hesse provide chaplain duties, with the CJWII Color Guard presenting the colors to begin the ceremony. A ceremonial flag is honored with the following tribute:
“Compatriots, we have presented here this flag of our country which has been inspected and condemned as unserviceable. It reached it’s present state in a proper service of tribute, memory and love. A flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we have worked for and lived for, and died for a free nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of justice, freedom and democracy. Let this faded flag of our country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites and its place be taken by a bright new flag of the same size and kind.”
The flag was then presented to CJWII Chapter President Marc Robinson and taken to the fire pit to be properly destroyed with assistance from Quartermaster Erick Moore. Participants in the ceremony were then called forward to assist in the retirement of worn flags. Participating for the chapter were President Marc Robinson, Vice President Thomas “Chip” Daniel, Sean Carrigan, Dale Corey, Kelly Ford, Erick Moore, Brett Osborn and Nathan Poe.