The Fredericksburg region knows how to pay tribute to those who have served. One of the area's most iconic images is the monument to Gen. Hugh Mercer on the Washington Avenue mall.
This monument was erected by the federal government in 1906 to honor Mercer, a man who had met George Washington during the French and Indian War, moved to Fredericksburg to open an apothecary shop and was killed in the Revolutionary War during the Battle of Princeton on Jan. 12, 1777.
More than a century after that monument was created, this region remains a poignant place to take note of the sacrifices made by veterans over the years. November is an especially apt time to do that, as the United States Marine Corps celebrates its birthday on Nov. 10, and Veterans Day brings a host of events on Nov. 11.
On Nov. 10 at Geramanna Community College’s Fredericksburg Campus, the Germanna Presents! Lyceum hosts guest speaker David Clark, an archaeologist and professor at the Catholic University of America and Northern Virginia Community College. He will give a presentation on his work on the recovery and repatriation of service-members from World War II and the Vietnam War. This is free and open to the public, at 7 p.m. in Germanna’s Sealy Auditorium.
Spotsylvania County will host a Tribute to Veterans on Nov. 12 at Merchants Square Pavillion in Spotsylvania Courthouse Village. The event, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., features free meals for all veterans, courtesy of the Vets on Track Foundation. Meals will be provided by Palmettos Seafood and BBQ Co. The event will include music by the Enduring Freedom Honor Team and displays by Indian Motors and a World War II and Vietnam vehicle display. Organizers are encouraging family and friends to bring pictures and posters for the Veteran Tribute Wall that will be created at the event.
Find more information here.
Marine Corps Birthday
If you haven’t been to the National Museum of the Marine Corps yet in 2016, you should make plans to do so, and the Nov. 10 Marine Corps Birthday is a great time for a visit. In April, the museum unveiled a restored World War II Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive Bomber, hanging in its Leatherneck Gallery. Read more about this aircraft here.
On Nov. 10, the museum will hold a Marine Corps Birthday cake-cutting ceremony at noon. Come back on Nov. 12 for Family Day, a living history event exploring the birth of the Corps in Philadelphia in 1775.
Also of interest to veterans
The Fredericksburg Area Veterans Memorial, located near Maury Field in the heart of Downtown Fredericksburg, lists area veterans from wars of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Fredericksburg National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 15,000 Union soldiers who died in major Civil War battles that occurred between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA. It is located within the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
This year, the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon will celebrate its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, start training now for the “Devil Dog Double,” an ambitious challenge that asks participants to complete both the Semper Five five-mile race and the 13.1-mile Historic Half marathon in the same morning. Read about it here.