Veterans Day was originally established to honor Americans who had served in World War I. The national holiday is celebrated on November 11, the anniversary of the day World War I ended in 1918. Today Veterans Day honors veterans of all wars for their patriotism and willingness to serve in the military and sacrifice for our country.
Veterans Day is a great time to visit the monuments and memorials in Washington, DC.
Many of the landmarks and attractions around the region host special events in honor of America’s veterans. A good way to get around to see all of the memorials is to take a tour. See a guide to the Best Sightseeing Tours in Washington DC. Please note that Washington DC does not host a parade in honor of Veterans Day. Here is the schedule of events for 2017:
- Arlington National Cemetery - November 11, 2017, 11 a.m. Across the Potomac from Washington at the west end of the Memorial Bridge, Arlington, Virginia. (703) 607-8000 This is the national Veterans day service with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Seating in the amphitheater is limited, so visitors should plan to arrive at least a half hour before the ceremony.
- Women In Military Service For America Memorial - November 11, 2017, 3:00 p.m. Located at the Gateway to Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony is free and open to the public and will include formal military honors, a keynote address, veterans’ remarks, and a wreath laying.
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial - November 11, 2017, 1 p.m. Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Dr. NW, Washington, DC. Color guard, speakers and a wreath-laying ceremony pay tribute to all who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War America's other conflicts.
- Vietnam Women's Memorial - November 11, 2017, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive, NW Washington, DC. (301) 314-8505. Vietnam-era veterans and the children of veterans tell stories "in their own voices" about their experiences. There will also be stories featuring soldiers of the current struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan and other locations around the world.
- World War II Memorial - November 11, 2017, 9 a.m. 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW Washington, DC. (202) 619-7222. Wreath laying ceremony.
- Navy Memorial - November 11, 2017. 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC. (202)737-2300. The Naval District of Washington will lay a wreath, at the Lone Sailor Statue in commemoration of Veterans Day.
- Air Force Memorial - November 11, 2017, 11 a.m. One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA. Wreath laying ceremony and a two-minute moment of silence will be observed to commemorate those members of the U.S. armed forces who were killed during war.
- National Cathedral Veterans Day Tribute Concert - November 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m. 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington, DC. Washington National Cathedral will honor the service of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families with a concert tribute, featuring the U.S. Marine Corps Orchestra, Washington National Cathedral Singers and selections from American War Letters. The event is free and open to the public with no ticketing required.
- Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens - November 11, 2017. Mount Vernon, Virginia. Special activities include a patriotic community concert by the all-veteran barbershop chorus at 11 a.m., at 2 p.m. wreathlaying at the tomb of our first commander-in-chief, George Washington. Active duty military personnel and veterans are admitted free-of-charge. The wreathlaying is included with regular Mount Vernon admission. The barbershop concert and Martha Washington program are free.
- Manassas Veterans Day Parade - November 4, 2017, 11 a.m. Manassas, Virginia. The community parade includes military and high school bands, pipe and drum corps teams, military units from the various Armed Services, military vehicles, and members from local veteran organizations.
- National Marine Corps Museum - November 10, 2017, noon. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Virginia. (800) 397-7585. Celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day with a ceremonial sword cake cutting.
Visiting DC on Veterans Day? See a guide to Military and Veterans Discounts in Washington DC.