BEDFORD, Va. – The ceremony at the National D-Day Memorial returns in person with an elaborate Veteran’s Day celebration this year.
The war memorial paid tribute online last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kicking off with patriotic hymns, dozens of families embrace the Veteran’s Day celebration at National D-Day Memorial.
While telling the stories of D-Day veterans, keynote speakers asked American heroes to stand up and acknowledge the branch of the military they served.
92-year-old Daniel Villarial is one of two World War Two veterans who showed up at the ceremony.
“I’m happy with the fact people are starting to recognize that if weren’t for World War II a lot of them wouldn’t be here,” Villarial said.
People swarmed to Villarial to shake his hand and hear the anecdotes of his time as a Marine.
But he spent the most time talking to the young ROTC leaders like 15-year-old Serenity Miles from Gretna High School NJROTC.
“I thought it was really cool,” she said. “I was kind of nervous. But there is not a lot of them living now. So, I thought it was very exciting.”
This year, there is a new addition.
Take a walk in the brick garden and you will notice 54 new names etched on the bricks.
Five of them are gold star bricks to remember the people who lost their lives while serving for the nation.
“It’s always an obligation for us to thank our veterans for what they have done for our country,” National D-Day Memorial President & CEO April Cheek-Messier said.