CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Sunshine and music marked a celebration of veterans in Chesapeake Monday morning.
“Virginia is the most militarily connected of the 50 states,” said Senator Tim Kaine, as he gave the keynote address at the Chesapeake Veterans Memorial in front of City Hall. It is a place where more than 1,400 Chesapeake residents are honored.
The families of active duty service members and veterans, both living and deceased, can purchase plaques to honor or remember their loved ones.
Seven families honored their loved ones with new plaques during this year’s ceremony, including Jay Tate, who placed plaques for his son Jacob Tate and daughter-in-law, Alia Lemm Tate.
“Well, it’s actually his birthday today. He was born on Veterans Day and he’s very humbled, but appreciates us appreciating him and he’s just focused on what he’s going to do for the country,” Tate told WAVY.com.
Veteran and Congressman Bobby Scott appreciated the event while also acknowledging the current challenges our veterans face.
“We honor our veterans on Veterans Day, but actually we honor them everyday in legislation; we’re dealing with the suicides, improving the VA, educational benefits,” he said.
Congressman Scott said he is working on a glitch in the Higher Education Act that makes veterans vulnerable to predatory fraud. While Senator Kaine is addressing the high rate of veteran suicides.
“We need to figure out ways in our own cities, Chesapeake, Richmond where I live, to surround Veterans and make them feel like they still have a network of people who care about them,” said Sen. Kaine.
Kaine said we need more programs for Veterans transitioning to civilian life and more mental healthcare workers to provide the quality care they’ve earned defending our nation and its freedoms.