MOAA Takes Part in 2021 Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery

MOAA Takes Part in 2021 Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery
MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret) joins Capt. (Dr.) Lynn Nash, USPHS (Ret), legislative director of MOAA's Maryland Council of Chapters, in laying a wreath during Thursday's ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery (Photos by Mike Morones/MOAA)

As a member of the Veterans Day National Committee, MOAA took part in hosting Thursday's ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery, along with the VA, to honor those who have served.

 

The annual event featured a joint service flyover and full honors procession honoring the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

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From left, MOAA board member Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret); MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret); and Capt. (Dr.) Lynn Nash, USPHS (Ret), legislative director of MOAA's Maryland Council of Chapters, view Thursday's ceremony.

 

After the ceremony, MOAA and the other veterans service organizations on the committee had the honor of placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), and MOAA Montgomery County chapter member Capt. (Dr.) Lynn Nash, USPHS (Ret), legislative director of MOAA's Maryland Council of Chapters, carried the wreath on to the plaza, paying homage to those who did not make it back home.

 

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Atkins, center, greets MOAA Board Member Lt. Col. Walter J. Smiley Jr., USA (Ret), at Thursday's ceremony while Lt. Gen. Bruce "Orville" Wright, USAF (Ret), president of the Air Force Association, looks on. 

 

Honored guests included President Joe Biden and VA Secretary Denis McDonough.

 

During his speech, the president took time to recognize veterans, those currently serving, and military families who often bear an additional burden while their loved ones are away.

 

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MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), right, and Capt. (Dr.) Lynn Nash, USPHS (Ret), legislative director of MOAA's Maryland Council of Chapters, salute during Thursday's ceremony.

 

"On Veterans Day, we honor our nation's veterans, who have given so much to protect our freedoms and the freedom of others around the globe," Biden said in his speech to the 800 attendees. "They represent the highest ideals of our country. While we can never fully repay the debt we owe these heroes, we will honor their service and provide them the care and support they deserve."

 

"We also salute and show gratitude for all who ensure our armed forces remain strong, united, and unmatched."

 

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President Joe Biden speaks during Thursday's Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. He was joined at the event by Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, right. 

 

[RELATED: On Veterans Day, Appreciate the Value of Community | Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Reclaiming a Brother in Arms]

 

Along with Atkins and Nash, MOAA board members Lt. Col. Walter J. Smiley Jr., USA (Ret), and Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret), attended Thursday's ceremony.

 

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About the Author

Amber Monks
Amber Monks

Monks is a digital content specialist at MOAA. She started at MOAA in 2018 as a member service representative, with a focus on communications.