Tens of thousands of residents across Northern Virginia marked Memorial Day Weekend at the Viva!Vienna! festival in downtown Vienna.
On Monday, local officials paused amidst the food, fun, rides and entertainment to remember the true motivation for the holiday: the fallen soldiers who, along with their families, make sacrifices to give all Americans the freedom they enjoy every day, Mayor Jane Seeman told a crowd gathered on the Town Green.
Seeman was joined by members of the Vienna Town Council and town staff, Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va-11th), Dels. Mark Keam (D-35th) and Barabara Comstock (R-34th) and County Sup. Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill) at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony, which featured performances by the Madison High School Madrigals and the Vienna Choral Society.
Guest Speaker Dan Dellinger, a 30-year member and past commander of the American Legion Post 180 in Vienna and a candidate for National Commander of the American Legion, shared stories of fallen soldiers with the crowd gathered under hot, sunny skies, saying that while wars begin and end, the mission is never truly over.
"We continue to lose American heroes every day in Afghanistan ... and around the world," said the Army veteran, who entered the service as an Infantry officer during the Vietnam War and separated at the rank of captain.
"Remembering our fallen only once a year is not enough. [Family and loved ones] remember every day," he said.
For a glimpse of the ceremony, watch the video in the media player above.
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