Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for roughly 400,000 veterans and their family members, according to its website. Annually it hosts two major remembrance ceremonies, one of which occurs on Veterans Day. This year’s ceremony will mark the “centennial commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”
“It’s our duty to never forget the Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country,” the cemetery’s Executive Director, Ms. Karen Durham-Aguilera, said on their website. “One hundred years ago, on November 11, 1921, the World War I Unknown Soldier was transported, by a procession, to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery. This year, we are recreating elements of that procession, and we invite the public to observe this pivotal moment in American history as thousands of Americans did in 1921.”
Veterans Day actually began a few years earlier in 1918, then known as Armistice Day. According to History.com, the date marks the end of World War I which occurred on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name in 1954.
The federal holiday provides an opportunity to honor and thank “ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime,” explained the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Here’s what you need to know about when, where and how to watch the National Veterans Day Ceremony:
2021 NATIONAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY SYNOPSIS: It is almost time for The National Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetary.
“VA Secretary Denis McDonough hosts the National Veterans Day Observance Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery,” according to the event description on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “VA Secretary Denis McDonough hosts the National Veterans Day Observance Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony. The Veterans Day Observance will honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during war and peacetime.”
2021 NATIONAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY DATE, TIME & SCHEDULE: The National Veterans Day Ceremony will air on its titular holiday on November 11, 2021.
To commemorate the centennial, a “joint service flyover and full honors procession honoring the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” will begin at 9 a.m. ET, according to the Arlington National Cemetery’s website.
The ceremony will then start precisely at 11 a.m. ET, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The synopsis for the event states that it will begin “with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries.”
President Joe Biden is expected to speak. Per C-SPAN’s television schedule, the ceremony is expected to last approximately one hour, ending at 12 p.m. ET.
2021 NATIONAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY LOCATION: The Arlington National Cemetery is located in Arlington, Virginia just outside of the nation’s capital. According to the cemetery’s website, it was originally 200 acres but as of 2020 had expanded to 639 acres.
2021 NATIONAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY CHANNEL/STREAM: The National Veterans Day Ceremony will be available to watch online or on television.
C-SPAN will begin its hour-long coverage of the event at 11 a.m. ET under the title “Pres. Biden Delivers Remarks at the Arlington National Cemetery.” It is scheduled to reair at 1 a.m. ET on November 12, 2021.
There is also a streaming option. As the Arlington Nation Cemetery’s website noted, “A virtual program may be viewed at @ARLINGTONNATL.” According to The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, it can also be streamed on Facebook. You can access the page CLICK HERE.