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As the region draws closer to the Veterans Day holiday Nov. 11, Naval District Washington (NDW) plans to honor the service and sacrifices of veterans throughout the nation’s history with events ranging in size and scope.

"Here at Naval District Washington, and throughout the United States, we look forward to Veterans Day so that we can proudly honor the servicemembers past and present who have stood in the defense of our country,” said Rear Adm. Patrick Lorge, commandant of NDW. “We pay tribute to them because they have served as the shield of democracy, protecting the rights of Americans everywhere."

Commands throughout NDW are preparing to celebrate the holiday with events geared toward veterans. A few highlights among them include:

ź Naval Support Activity South Potomac will hold an observance of the holiday at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Va., Nov. 7, at 1 p.m., with Students from Dahlgren School contributing drawings and essays on the subject "Why I'm Proud to Be an American.”

ź The U.S. Navy Concert Band and The Sea Chanters will perform at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

ź The Naval Academy Band will give a performance in Mahan Hall at the U.S. Navy Academy in Annapolis, Md., Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

ź NDW will hold a wreath laying at the Navy Memorial Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.

"Veterans Day is extremely important to us in the armed forces, because it gives us a chance to say 'thank you' to those that not only currently serve, but those that paved the way and served before us,” said Cmdr. David Varner, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Washington. “Without the brave men and women who have taken the oath to defend our nation, this great country wouldn't be what it is today, and we greatly look forward to honoring them. At Naval Support Activity Washington, and around the world, it's a day when American veterans know that they are truly appreciated for what they do."

The holiday was first celebrated in the United States as Armistice Day in 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson saw fit to honor the veterans of World War I on the first anniversary of the war’s end. Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954 in order to honor veterans of all American conflicts, not just the First World War. From its inception, Veterans Day has been reserved for honoring veterans that have served in the defense of the United States, giving thanks for the sacrifices they have made in the interest of the nation’s freedom, and showing appreciation for their past and continued service.

For more information on events happening throughout NDW visit http://www.cnic. navy.mil/ndw/ or visit the Naval District Washington Facebook page at http://www.facebook.c om/NavDistWash