Our next event will be a Veterans Day ceremony on the morning of Saturday, November 11, 2017, at 11 o’clock–the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Details will be published when available.
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.
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.
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
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.
Great Falls Connection reporter Fallon Forbush created a moving video about the event:
A video of the entire event appears below.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Community, volunteers, public service, duty, honor, country. Built and funded by the community through in-kind and monetary donations. Dedicated November 13, 2004.
Fact sheet prepared by the late Milburn Sanders, the first Secretary of the Friends of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial and founder of the Great Falls Historical Society:
Video about the creation of the Freedom Memorial, produced by Nancy Wilson:
To see remarks in the Congressional Record by Congressman Frank Wolf in recognition of the dedication of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial, click here.
Pictures from the dedication of the Freedom Memorial on November 13, 2004, are available here.
To see the contemporaneous press release from Fairfax County about the dedication ceremony for the Freedom Memorial, click here.