Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia held the county’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 11 in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Building at the county fairgrounds.
Several hundred attendees, including many veterans of our nation’s armed forces, were on hand to honor those who have served the United States both at home and abroad.
With panels on one wall memorializing Chesterfield’s fallen soldiers, those in attendance heard patriotic music from the Gill Grove Baptist School and Bonefire Trombone Ensemble, as well as keynote remarks from U.S. Army Brigadier General Patricia Wallace.
Having previously been tabbed as the first woman and person of color to serve as the Commanding General of the Army’s 91st Training Division, last December she became the first female Commanding General of the 80th Training Command (The Army School System).
“Our veterans heard a call to serve, to lead, to follow, and they said without reservation and without knowing the risk: ‘Here I am, send me’,” Wallace told the crowd. “For 50 years, we have had a voluntary force who have said ‘Send me.’ On Veterans Day, we celebrate and honor them because they said ‘Send me.’”
Wallace asked why anyone would need to wait until this special day to thank veterans given their sacrifices, arguing that it’s something we all should do every day.
“We don’t know them all, but we owe them all,” she said, adding later: “We can make it the norm, not the exception, to thank our veterans.”