HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Across the nation and Hampton Roads, people paused to say thank you to our veterans.
Some events, such as the one at Arlington cemetery, went on despite the rain. However, here in Hampton Roads some of the events were canceled or altered.
“This is a day we spend time…to honor their service,” Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, Commander of the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area.
The City of Portsmouth has a deep history with the military and continues to honor active military and veterans on Veterans Day. The city is home to both the Naval Medical Center, the nation’s oldest naval hospital, and the oldest naval shipyard in the U.S.
“The military goes back to the inception of our city and so we are a military community… We value that and we recognize the importance of that,” Portsmouth’s Mayor Shannon Glover said. “Those are valuable things that have made up the fabric of our community.”
Vice Adm. Lunday said Friday is a day to thank veterans, but also to ask them a simple question: can you tell me about your service?
“When we give of our time and ask them to tell their story. It’s a way to invite them to share themselves and open up and when we are listening, it’s a gift of our time and commitment. We are inspired by their story,” he said.
Across the downtown tunnel, The City of Norfolk honored veterans with a wreath-laying ceremony at the MacArthur Memorial.
“These folks get up every day, put on this uniform, deploy all over the world and they do it because they love this country,” Adm. Daryl Caudle, Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, said.
The City of Norfolk also has deep roots in the military. Norfolk is the headquarters of the Navy’s Second Fleet and Downtown Norfolk’s MacArthur Center is named after renowned General Douglas MacArthur.
“A native of this area, so he has a tie back to Norfolk, so it is a real privilege to link what he did for our country to the Norfolk area and bring that all together for Veterans Day,” Adm. Caudle said.
Mona Gunn was recognized at the wreath-laying ceremony as a gold star mother. Her son, Signalman Seaman Cherone Gunn, died in the USS Cole terrorist attack. Her husband also served in the military.
“We continue our children’s service. Our children would be veterans. One thing we do as an organization is…to think of veterans and support our veterans. Being out here on Veterans Day is just what we do,” she said.
Due to the weather Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Hampton canceled outdoor ceremonies. In Williamsburg, active duty military, veterans and their families get free admission to Colonial Williamsburg.
For those who are looking for another fun way to celebrate Veterans Day, Warriors Taphouse in Virginia Beach is having a Veterans Day Bash Friday until close.