Miramar National Cemetery holds virtual Veterans Day program
With the COVID pandemic prohibiting large public gatherings, the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation marked Veterans Day 2020 with a video presentation commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the contributions of the U.S. Merchant Marine in achieving victory. The 20-minute program will be on-line at www.miramarcemetery.org beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10, and on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 and will remain on the website for viewing.
Rear Adm. Jack Buono, superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, N.Y., is the featured speaker. Charlie Inot, Support Foundation President & CEO, hosts the program. Capt. Richard J. Davidson, a Support Foundation director, retired Merchant Marine officer and USMMA graduate, introduces Buono. Support Foundation Chairman Dennis Schoville offers closing remarks.
With the Allied defeat of Germany in May 1945, World War II was brought to a conclusion with the surrender of Japan in August 1945. Millions of American soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guard members fought during the war in the Atlantic, Europe, the Pacific, and Asia.
Serving alongside them were some 215,000 merchant mariners who sailed the troop ships, tankers, and supply ships over oceans threatened by enemy submarines, warships and aircraft. These civilian mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any of those engaged in the war—1 in 26 lost their lives. Among them were 68 graduates of the newly opened Merchant Marine Academy, and 142 Academy midshipmen—the only students of any U.S. service academy to be killed in the war.
“Allied victory would not have been possible without the sustained performance of the U.S. Merchant Marine,” said Inot. He noted that Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. merchant mariners this year in recognition of their contribution, courage and sacrifice during World War II.
“Without their vital service, the war could not have been waged and won.”
In his introduction of Buono, Davidson quoted President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who praised the Merchant Marine for “deliver(ing) the goods when and where needed in every theater of operations and across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult and dangerous transportation job ever undertaken.”
Buono asked Americans on Veterans Day “to honor those who have sacrificed for our nation.” It is a time, he said, “…to honor those who have served a higher calling and a greater good. A time to honor those who have written a check that is any amount up to and including my life. And this is a day when we remember those who have worn the cloth of our nation and have served in times, alone, on the frontiers of freedom far away from home.”
Addressing the families of veterans and active duty personnel, Buono said, “I say ‘Thank you!’ You are veterans in your own right. We thank you for your service as well. You may not have pulled the watch or stood the guard duty, but your job, while different, was equally challenging. We appreciate your sacrifices in support of our veterans and our country.”
“The year 2020 has been a difficult one for all of us,” said Schoville. “We hope that in 2021, we will once again be able to host both a live Memorial Day service and a Veterans Day observance.”
Mt. Soledad National National Veterans Memorial hosts virtual program Nov. 15
Veterans Day commemorations and celebrations in San Diego continue to stay virtual and socially-distant in 2020. With COVID-19 regulations still preventing large gatherings, two of San Diego’s military veteran organizations are collaborating to hold a live streaming simulcast tribute to honor the Greatest Generation, Veterans of World War II.
The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial and Honor Flight San Diego will host an hour-long tribute that will be streamed live on Nov. 15, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at www.soledadmemorial.org. The date was changed due to inclement weather this weekend.
“With a highly successful Memorial Day live virtual broadcast and events still being canceled due to COVID regulations, we knew it was still very important to honor our local World War II veterans here in San Diego County, this being the 75th Anniversary since the ending of that conflict,” said Phil Kendro, Vice President of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association’s Board of Trustees. “The opportunity to express our sincere thanks to these brave men and women is running out.”
The event will be hosted again by National University’s Director of Public Safety Outreach, reserve El Cajon police officer, and former San Diego news anchor, Marc Bailey.
The hour-long virtual tribute will include inspiring remarks from World War II veterans, video messages from elected, business leaders, and celebrities, musical performances by Marine Band San Diego and young prodigy singer Chelsea Snow, and finally a flyover by World War II aircraft.
Event participants will adhere to social distancing requirements. No public spectators will be permitted at the event.
“We are glad to be part of this ceremony,” said Julie Brightwell, Chairman of Honor Flight San Diego. “It is important to honor the men and women of our Greatest Generation for all their service and sacrifice.”
Arlington hosts National Veterans Day observance 2020
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a Presidential Uniformed Services Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony.
The Honorable Robert Wilkie, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in recognition and commemoration of the Veterans who have served in the U.S. Uniformed Services. The ceremony will be hosted by Maj. Gen. Omar J. Jones, commanding general, Joint Task Force – National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
The nation’s 67th Veterans Day Observance will honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. Uniformed Services during war and peacetime.
Ceremonial activities at Arlington National Cemetery will begin 11 a.m., Wednesday, November 11. View the ceremony via the live stream link at https://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/25131
Arlington National Cemetery will be open to the public 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., however, the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are currently closed to the public. All visitors are to follow social distancing requirements and face covering policy. Anyone not having face coverings in their possession at cemetery entry points will not be granted access.
Find information about Arlington National Cemetery at https://arlingtoncemetery.mil/
Military News | Navy News | Veterans Day 2020 events