Home of the Brave – Celebrate Veterans Day 2013 Campaign

Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center Event: Service of Remembrance Ceremony (11/10)

Event summary and write-up by Brittany Jackson (Site Coordinator)

It was an absolute honor to have another opportunity to volunteer and support the Service of Remembrance Ceremony at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center. The Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center holds two Service of Remembrance ceremonies: the first ceremony takes place around Memorial Day, and the second ceremony takes place around Veterans Day. The ceremonies honor those Veterans in the D.C. metropolitan area who have passed away within the last year, providing their family and friends with another opportunity to pay their respects to their loved one.

Participating in this event, even as a volunteer, was not only an honor, but also very inspiring. There is a portion of the ceremony where the name of each Veteran is called out by their loved one. Each family member or friend is then provided with the opportunity to share a memory about the deceased Veteran. The history and love that come through the sharing of these memories are both remarkable and very moving, and I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had just to say ‘thank you’ to the family member/friend for the service their loved one provided to our great Nation.

As volunteers, we were provided with the opportunity to support the program from set-up to close-down. At the beginning of the ceremony, we handed out programs and small American Flag lapel pins to arriving attendees. During the ceremony, we had the opportunity to hand out a rose, tissues, and give a hug to those family members and friends who shared a memory in honor of their loved one. Following the ceremony, we handed out light refreshments that we donated to the event through the Home of the Brave campaign which also provided us with another opportunity to meet, talk to, and thank those who attended the ceremony. One of our volunteers also took beautiful pictures throughout the event, which we were able to provide to the Voluntary Service team at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center for use in their publications related to the event.