Past and present Veterans honored at War Memorial ceremony

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and his wife Cheryl present the Virginia National Guard memorial wreath to honor the contributions of past and currently serving Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Nov. 11, 2014, at the Shrine of Memory at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and his wife Cheryl present the Virginia National Guard memorial wreath to honor the contributions of past and currently serving Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Nov. 11, 2014, at the Shrine of Memory at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe recognized the service of Veterans past and present at the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11, 2014, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and his wife Cheryl presented the Virginia National Guard memorial wreath to recognize the contributions of Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

“The courage and commitment of the men and women who served before us in conflicts such as World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and other military operations both hot and cold showed all of us the true meaning of selfless service,” Williams wrote in his Veterans Day message. “These great Veterans defended the freedom of people they didn’t know in lands far away from home because they knew how important it was to the democratic lifestyle we all enjoy. We owe them a special debt of gratitude for the shining example they set.”

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized on federal active duty for combat operations, peacekeeping and homeland security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and other locations around the world.

More than 20 members of the Virginia Defense Force provided traffic control and parking assistance for the event.

Across the state, Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen took part in Veterans Day observations and shared their remembrances.

“Whether the veteran slogged through a jungle in Vietnam, traveled Route Irish in Baghdad looking for IEDs, or stood watch on a destroyer in peacetime, today is a day to recognize their service,” wrote Lt. Col. Rusty McGuire, commander of the Portsmouth-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, in an editorial printed in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Other Veterans Day activities involving members of the Virginia National Guard included the following:

The 29th Division Band marched in the Roanoke Veterans Day parade Nov. 8 and provided ceremonial music for the Veterans Day program sponsored by American Legion Homer Dillard Post 78 at Patrick Henry Community College’s Stone Hall in Martinsville.

Retired Brig. Gen. Janice Igou joined the Veterans Day salute in Hanover. “It is certainly my privilege to be a part of this ceremony today and to recognize and remember not only our Hanover veterans, but also veterans across the globe who have gone before us nobly and served, fought and sacrificed in order for us to enjoy the freedoms and privileges we have today in the greatest nation in the world,” Igou said.

Lt. Col. Erik Gordon, commander of the Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, was the guest speaker for an event in Herndon sponsored by he American Legion Wayne M. Kidwell Post 184. Members of the Virginia Army National Guard observed the laying of the wreaths at the Town of Herndon’s Veterans Memorial.

Chief Master Sgt. Kimberly Holloway of the Virginia Air National Guard was the guest speaker at the Veterans Day observation at Powhatan High School, where she serves as the assistant principal. According to a news article in Powhatan Today, her talk focused on many of the skills embraced by the JROTC cadets of the high school, including respect, personal courage, duty, integrity and selfless service. “The military is one team and each of us has something to contribute,” Holloway said.

Spc. James Fox of the 29th Division Band played taps at a ceremony at Roanoke College honoring Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of World War I.

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Adjutant General’s 2014 Veterans Day Message
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2014/11/11/6311/

Saluting our veterans in Herndon
http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20141112/NEWS/141119714/saluting-our-veterans-in-herndon&template=fairfaxTimes

Something noble on Veterans Day
http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/their-opinion/something-noble-on-veterans-day/article_a780a8f0-248d-5943-ada3-2f61d7b1aaf2.html

Veterans saluted at annual ceremony in Hanover
http://www.herald-progress.com/?p=18487

Powhatan events honor veterans
http://www.timesdispatch.com/powhatantoday/news/powhatan-events-honor-veterans/article_3ade6020-6f98-11e4-8c14-ff0ac793e925.html

Via speaks at Veterans Day event, focuses on Korean War
http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=44225

Roanoke College marks Veterans Day with ceremony
http://www.roanoke.com/community/sosalem/roanoke-college-marks-veterans-day-with-ceremony/article_fd427c37-071c-552e-a97b-7f67567171ef.html