Thank You For Your Service: Saluting Our Veterans (photos)

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Army Air Corps WWII veteran Jim Prusa, age 94, was a POW at Stalag 17B. His plane was shot down on his 24th mission. Prusa was a ball turret gunner. Photo by Jeff Malet.

On Veterans Day, we pause to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces as well as those who have fallen defending the country. Although World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, hostilities between the major powers actually ended on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when an armistice went into effect. “Armistice Day” was celebrated in the United States every year thereafter until 1954, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed it to “Veterans Day” to encompass the veterans of all American wars.

This year, Veterans Day marked the 99th anniversary of the end of “The War to End All Wars.” On Thursday, Nov. 9, ground was broken on the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, located at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington D.C. The ceremony was attended by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and a member of the Pershing family.

Veterans Day activities at Arlington National Cemetery commenced precisely at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns by Vice President Mike Pence and continued inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from Pence and other dignitaries. This was followed by a steady procession of wreath-layings at the Tomb of the Unknowns by individual national and international veterans and active military organizations.

Later that afternoon, a separate memorial service was held at the birthplace of General of the Armies John J. Pershing, hosted by the Military Order of the World Wars and attended by representatives of World War I allied nations.

View Jeff Malet’s photos from Veterans Day activities in the D.C. metro area by clicking on the photo icons below.

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