Washington DC

How to observe Veterans Day in the DC area

Veterans Day is this weekend, and there are plenty of events around D.C. to honor service members who have served our country

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Veterans Day is on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, and in honor of those who have served our country, there will be several ceremonies and events in the Washington, D.C., area.

From wreath-laying ceremonies at the war memorials on the National Mall to free rides on National Harbor's Capital Wheel to a vet's comedy special taping, here's a look at what to do.

U.S. Navy Band concert

📅 Fri., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
📍 MLK Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.
💲 Free
🔗 Details

In association with the D.C. Mayor’s Office and DC Public Library, the National Museum of the United States Navy will hold two concerts featuring the band’s vocal ensemble, Cruisers, and the concert band’s 12-member brass ensemble. The concerts will take place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library.

The Cruisers will perform at 1 p.m. followed by the brass ensemble at 3 p.m. in the library’s New Books Room located on the main floor.

National Mall

📍 National Mall
💲 Free
🔗 Details

The National Park Service and its partners will host several wreath-laying ceremonies and other in-person and virtual programming on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, a candlelight ceremony will be held at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Here's the schedule for Saturday's ceremonies:

  • World War II Memorial: 9 a.m.
  • Old Post Office Tower: 9:30 a.m.
  • World War I Memorial: 10:30 a.m.
  • African American Civil War Memorial: 11 a.m.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 1 p.m.
  • Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II: 2 p.m.
  • U.S. Navy Memorial: 2 p.m.
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial: 3 p.m.

Arlington National Cemetery: National Veterans Day Observance

📍 Arlington National Cemetery
💲 Free
🔗 Details

The 70th annual National Veterans Day Observance will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Memorial Amphitheater at the Arlington National Cemetery.

Scheduled events include:

  • The United States Air Force Band and U.S. Air Force Chanters performing a prelude in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m.
  • Wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • National observance inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries

The observance is open and free to the public and seating in the amphitheater is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Arrive early to find parking, get through security and get to the ceremonies.

Comedian PT Bratton filming “You’re Welcome for My Service” comedy show

📅 Sat., 7:30 p.m.
📍 Veterans Growing America at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, Virginia
💲 Donation based on Indiegogo
🔗 Details

PT Bratton, an Air Force veteran, is sharing his humor to help people laugh through tough situations in a comedy show called “You’re Welcome for My Service” this Veterans Day weekend. The show is set to be filmed for Bratton's first comedy special.

National Army Museum

📍 1775 Liberty Drive Fort Belvoir, Virginia
💲 Free
🔗 Details

The National Museum of the United States Army will be offering a weekend of events in honor of Veterans Day.

Highlights include:

  • Family-friendly activities in which guests can write greeting cards to veterans, participate in a history scavenger hunt and enjoy the Museum's Tiny Troops Story Time for kids aged 3-6.
  • History demonstrations that explore a soldier’s daily and their equipment.
  • A Volunteer Showcase where museum volunteers share stories from their military service.
  • Documentary Screening of PBS's documentary "American Veteran."

A special exhibit called “Loyal Service: Working Dogs At War” will be open during the weekend, as well. The traveling exhibition pays tribute to military working dogs with hand-carved wooden sculptures that symbolize their sacrifice.

"Some exhibition sculptures depict images that could be sensitive for children and veterans. Visitor discretion is advised," the museum said.

For the full schedule of activities at the museum, visit their website. Admission is free.

National Museum of the Marine Corps

📍 1775 Semper Fidelis Way, Triangle, Virginia
💲 Free
🔗 Details

Visit the museum for a traditional cake-cutting ceremony in honor of the 248th Marine Corps Birthday on Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

On Saturday, guests can create patriotic crafts, participate in Marine Corps birthday-themed activities and learn about the significance of Veterans Day. During the museum's Family Day on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., children under 5 can also enjoy storytime and a sing-along.

The events, plus museum admission, are free and open to the public.

National Veterans Parade

📅 Sun., steps off at noon
📍 Parade along Constitution Avenue starts at the National Archives
💲 Free
🔗 Details

The inaugural National Veterans Parade will feature floats, marching bands, special vehicles and more along Constitution Avenue.

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