Veterans Day Ceremony, November 11, 2017

The annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial (behind the library) this upcoming Saturday, November 11, 2017, at 11 am—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  A flyer is below.  In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will move indoors to the library meeting room.

You can visit our Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/greatfallsfreedommemorial/

September 11 Remembrance Ceremony

9/11 candlelight vigil, Great Falls Freedom Memorial, Great Falls, Virginia
9/11 candlelight vigil, Great Falls Freedom Memorial, Great Falls, Virginia

On Monday, September 11, at 7 o’clock pm, the annual September 11 Remembrance Ceremony was held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial. Great Falls lost six residents to the attacks on September 11, perhaps the highest casualty rate in America. The ceremony honored them and all who sacrificed on that day and in its aftermath.

The event opened with a presentation of the flag by a detachment of the United States Marine Corps.  The audience recited the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Boy Scout Troop 55, and sang the National Anthem, led by Erin Gantt of the Washington Choral Arts Society.  The keynote speaker, Great Falls resident Jim Roberts, President of Radio America and founder of the American Veterans Center, shared vivid audio from his station’s radio broadcast on 9/11, his recollections of the terrorist attacks, and his thoughts on the lessons to be drawn from them.  The audience lit candles in remembrance of each of the September 11 victims from Great Falls, while trumpeter Steven Pastore, also of Great Falls, sounded Taps.

The Great Falls Connection carried a story about the event, which you can read by clicking on the image below.2017 09 13 thru 2017 09 19 Great Falls Connection article re 2017 September 11 Remembrance Ceremony at Great Falls Freedom Memorial--front page

View and share pictures and video about the event here.  A video of the entire event can be seen here:

The Freedom Memorial is located behind the Great Falls Library at 9830 Georgetown Pike and hosts three ceremonies each year, on Memorial Day, September 11, and Veterans Day. The ceremonies are open to all. Ample parking is available in the library parking lot. In case of rain, the ceremony moves to the library meeting room. Limited seating is provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring portable chairs to all Freedom Memorial ceremonies, particularly Memorial Day.

Upcoming events

June 14, 2017 – Flag retirement ceremony.  Bring your old flags to be retired in accordance with the Flag Code.

July 4, 2017 – 5K race, 8 am

September 11, 2017 – September 11 remembrance ceremony

November 11, 2017 – Veterans Day ceremony

Memorial Day Ceremony 2017

Robert D. Vickers, Jr., Vietnam Veteran and longtime resident of Great Falls, addresses the audience at the Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial, May 29, 2017. Photo by Nancy Wilson.
Robert D. Vickers, Jr., Vietnam Veteran and longtime resident of Great Falls, addresses the audience at the Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial, May 29, 2017. Photo by Nancy Wilson.

On Monday, May 29, at 11:00 am, the annual Memorial Day ceremony was held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial to honor those who gave “last full measure of devotion” in service of freedom, including at least 25 citizens of Great Falls. The keynote speaker was longtime Great Falls resident Robert D. Vickers, Jr., former CIA National Intelligence Officer, Vietnam Veteran, and present chairman of the Fairfax County Tree Commission, who discussed his tour of duty in Vietnam and its aftermath. The event also included patriotic songs, a raising of the flags by Boy Scout Troop 55, a Marine Corps color guard and taps bugler, a wreath laying, and a reading of the honor roll and bell-ringing for each of the 25 known Great Falls natives who have fallen in defense of our country. Red poppies were distributed to the audience to betoken gratitude to all whom Memorial Day serves to honor.

Share and view pictures and videos of the event here.

The Great Falls Connection carried a story about the event, which you can read by clicking on the image below.

Great Falls Connection reporter Fallon Forbush created a moving video about the event:

A video of the entire event appears below.

Friends of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial thank Boy Scout for new signs

The Friends of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial extend their gratitude to Boy Scout Alex Bonadio for five new A-frame sandwich boards which will be used to publicize ceremonies at the Memorial.  Assisted by other Scouts from Troop 55, Alex created the signs for his Eagle Scout project.  Alex managed all aspects of the project from design and prototyping through graphic design, construction and assembly.  Many thanks, Alex.

"Be Prepared"
“Be Prepared”
Scouts constructing signs
Scouts constructing signs
Scouts at work constructing signs
Scouts at work constructing signs
Scouts with completed sign frames
Scouts with completed sign frames
Boy Scout Alex Bonadio with finished sign and Freedom Memorial director Bruce Fein
Boy Scout Alex Bonadio of Troop 55 with finished sign and Freedom Memorial director Bruce Fein

Veterans Day Ceremony, November 11, 2016

Special guest Howard Jester, World War II Army combat parachutist and Great Falls resident, observes the Veterans Day ceremony at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia
Special guest Howard Jester, World War II Army combat parachutist and Great Falls resident, observes the Veterans Day ceremony at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia

On Friday, November 11, at 11:00 AM, the annual Veterans Day ceremony was held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial. The ceremony honored all who have served our country in the Armed Forces.  The event included a Marine Corps color guard, patriotic songs by the Langley Madrigals, and remarks by two-star Army General Julie Bentz.  The audience included a special guest, Howard Jester, a resident of Great Falls and World War II Army combat parachutist.

At the conclusion of her speech, Major General Bentz presented a flyer with helpful information for veterans, available here.

A flyer about the event is available here.

Share and view pictures and videos of the event here.

The Great Falls Connection carried a story about the event:

Great Falls Connection, November 16, 2016

September 11 Remembrance Ceremony, 2016

Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola, Friend of the Freedom Memorial Sara Hilgartner, U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock, and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Director Chuck Rosenberg observe a moment of silence at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia on September 11, 2016
Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola, Friend of the Freedom Memorial Sara Hilgartner, U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock, and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Director Chuck Rosenberg observe a moment of silence at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia on September 11, 2016. Photo taken from a story in the Great Falls Connection, to which it links.

On Sunday, September 11, at 7:00 PM, the annual September 11 Remembrance Ceremony was held at the site of the Freedom Memorial. Great Falls lost six residents to the attacks on September 11, thought to be the highest casualty rate in America.  The ceremony honored them, and all who sacrificed on this day and its aftermath.  The event included a Marine Corps color guard, patriotic songs, remarks by Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Charles Rosenberg, and a candle-lighting for each of the September 11 victims from Great Falls.

The Great Falls Connection carried a story about the event.

Share and view photos and videos from the event here, or watch the event below.

Memorial Day Ceremony 2016

Local dignitaries, assisted by the Boy Scouts, lay a wreath at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. Photo taken from and links to a story in the Great Falls Connection.
Local dignitaries, assisted by the Boy Scouts, lay a wreath at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. Photo taken from and links to a story in the Great Falls Connection.

On Monday, May 30th, at 11:00 AM, the annual Memorial Day ceremony was held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial.  The event included a taps bugler, patriotic songs, remarks by retired Air Force Brigadier General Richard Stephen Ritchie (one of five American aces during the Vietnam War), a reading of the names and bell-ringing for each of the 26 residents of Great Falls who have fallen in service to our country, a wreath-laying by local dignitaries, and a raising of the flags by Boy Scout Troop 55.

The Great Falls Connection carried a story about the event. View and share photos and videos of the event here.

Veterans Day Ceremony, November 11, 2015

LTG Flora D. Darpino, the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army, delivers the keynote address at the Veterans' Day Ceremony at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia, November 11, 2015
LTG Flora D. Darpino, the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army, delivers the keynote address at the Veterans’ Day Ceremony at the Freedom Memorial in Great Falls, Virginia, November 11, 2015. Photo taken from and links to a story in the Great Falls Sun Gazette.

On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at 11:00 AM, the annual Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony was held at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial. The ceremony honored all who have served our country in the Armed Forces.  The event included a Marine Corps color guard, patriotic songs, and remarks by the Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army, Lieutenant General Flora D. Darpino.

The Great Falls Sun Gazette carried a story about the event. View and share pictures and videos of the event here.