Veterans Day is a holiday in the United States that is observed every year on the 11th of November. This federal holiday honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. It was originally called Armistice Day and coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries for the end of the first World War. The first Veterans Day was celebrated in 1919 and President Woodrow Wilson issued an explanation of the importance of this day and what it meant to Americans. Here’s a fun fact about Veterans Day! While the holiday is commonly spelled as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day with an apostrophe, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the “no apostrophe” version rather than the possessive case (with the apostrophe) is the official and correct spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.” Veterans Day is this Friday, and there’s no better place to honor the US forces than in DC and by visiting the memorials. Here are some suggestions on what to do in Washington, DC this year for Veterans Day.
Honor Our Veterans in the Nation’s Capital This Year
Vietnam Memorial and Veterans Day Ceremony
This memorial honors those who served in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial features the names of 58,318 Americans listed in chronological order on the memorial wall who gave their lives in service to their country. On November 11, 2022 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will also be hosting a special Veterans Day Observance ceremony at The Wall. In addition to celebrating the service of all our veterans, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. You can no longer register for the event in person, but you can commemorate the event live online at this link. The memorial is otherwise open to visits from the public and is located at 5 Henry Bacon Dr NW.
Veterans Day Concert at MLK Jr. Memorial Library
Enjoy a free holiday concert courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Navy. In collaboration with D.C. Public Library, the DC Mayor’s Office, and the United States Navy Band, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy presents a musical program in honor of the nation’s veterans from the past and the present, featuring the Navy Band’s honored music group, Country Current. The performance will take place in the library’s 291 seat theater, located at 901 G St NW, Washington, DC. This program will take place on November 11th from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and is free and open to everyone. Reserve a spot here.
US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial)
Located in Arlington, Virginia, this national memorial honors marines who have given their lives in defense of the United States since 1775. It was unveiled in 1954 on November 10th and features a statue of six marines raising a United States flag atop Mount Suribachi located at the south end of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. The memorial is open to visits from the public. Read more about the memorial here.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is one of the two national cemeteries run by the United States Army. The cemetery has nearly 400,000 people buried in it, and it covers over a six hundred acre area. The expanse of headstones at the cemetery reminds us of the costs of war and all of those who have lost their lives serving our country. The cemetery is open for visits to honor our veterans and also see the resting spot for former President John F. Kennedy as well. Pay tribute this veterans day at Arlington National Cemetery and learn more about the cemetery here.
Air Force Memorial
The United States Air Force Memorial honors the service of those in the United States Air Force and its heritage organizations. The Memorial is located in Arlington County, Virginia on the former grounds of the Navy Annex near The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. The Air Force Memorial is open to the public every day from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Due to ongoing construction in the vicinity of the Air Force Memorial, parking is limited and specific areas may be impacted. Read more about details, prohibited items and rules, and planning your trip to the memorial here.
African American Civil War Memorial
Located at 10th and U Street NW, the African American Civil War Memorial honors the African American soldiers who fought in the American Civil War. Over 200,000 African Americans served in the United States Army and Navy to end the war and free over four million slaves. This memorial honors their service and sacrifice. Learn more information to help with planning your trip here.
American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is a memorial in the nation’s capital that honors veterans of the armed forces of the United States who were permanently disabled during their time in the national service. They have risked their lives and sacrificed much for our country, and this memorial honors them and their selfless acts. The memorial features glass panels, bronze sculptures, ceremonial flame, granite, landscaping, a reflecting pool, and stone inscriptions. You can visit the memorial in person or take a virtual tour online here. Read more about the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial on the memorial’s website here.
Grand Army of the Republic Memorial
The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial was erected in 1909 and dedicated to Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson by the organization that he founded. The Stephenson Grand Army of the Republic Memorial, also known as Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson, is a public artwork in Washington, D.C. honoring Stephenson, a civil surgeon and the founder of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization for Union veterans. The monument can be visited at 7th and C Streets NW. Read more about the monument here.
Photo By AgnosticPreachersKid – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9187822
National Guard Memorial Museum
The National Guard Memorial Museum is a military-centered museum hosted by the National Guard Educational Foundation. The National Guard Educational Foundation was established in 1975 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The organization’s goal is to tell the Guard’s story. The memorial museum is located in northwestern Washington, DC at One Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001 and is a one minute walk from the National Postal Museum. The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Mondays through Fridays, excluding public holidays. Read more to plan your visit here.
National Native American Veterans Memorial and Ceremony
The National Native American Veterans Memorial opened on November 11, 2020, on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. This tribute to Native heroes recognizes the enduring and distinguished service of Native Americans in every branch of the US military. The memorial is open to the public and can be visited at any time.
This Veterans Day, on Friday, November 11, 2022, there will be a Native Veterans Procession and Dedication Ceremony. Join the museum in honoring the exceptional military service of Native Americans in a formal dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. The dedication and processional will honor American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans and their families. The procession will begin at 2:00 PM and registration is open to individual veterans and veterans groups here. Both the Procession at 2:00 PM and the Dedication from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM will be live streamed. There will also be a weekend celebration with a variety of events on November 12th and 13th. Read more about the ceremony and events here.
US Navy Memorial and Wreath-Laying Ceremony
The United States Navy Memorial is a memorial in Washington, D.C. honoring those who have served or are currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine. In the early days of United States independence, architect Pierre L’Enfant, who designed the plan for Washington, DC, envisioned a memorial in the nation’s capital “to celebrate the first rise of the Navy and consecrate its progress and achievements.” The memorial can be visited on Pennsylvania Ave NW between 7th and 9th Street NW. Read more about the memorial here.
Each year, the Navy Memorial hosts a Wreath-Laying Ceremony on Veterans Day to honor our nation’s Sailors and show appreciation for their service and sacrifice. This year, the ceremony will take place on Friday, November 11th on Navy Memorial Plaza and will be located at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. The ceremony begins at 1:00 PM and can be observed in person or online. Registration is not required to attend in person, but you must register here to receive a link to the live stream.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
From 1950 to 1953 the United States joined forces with the United Nations in Korea to take a stand against what was deemed a threat to democracy in the world. This memorial honors the Americans who fought and gave their lives for freedom. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located south of the Reflecting Pool and southeast of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall and is open 24 hours a day every day of the year. Learn more about the memorial here.
World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial recognizes sixteen million Americans who served during WWII. The memorial honors those who fell, and recognizes the victory they achieved for freedom around the globe through its incredible stone architecture and bronze sculptures. This memorial is also the only event in the 1900s commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis. The memorial is open to the public on the National Mall. Check out the webpage here for more information about the memorial.
Tour a Variety of Different Memorials
If you want to learn more about the history of our nation and see memorials that honor our veterans, join us on one of our informative and fun golf cart tours around the nation’s capital. Our nation’s capital is home to many great landmarks and memorials. If you’re looking for a stress free and educational to visit the spectacular sites, we’d love to accommodate you with our narrated tour down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the Capitol and through the heart of the National Mall where you can see various monumental landmarks, memorials, and other sites that show the interesting details of the nation’s capital. There are many occasions to stop and take photos along the way. Once at the Capitol, you may choose the route to include your priorities of special interest, or allow our professional guides to take you along on a journey of discovery. Book your tour now!