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Washington's Birthday — Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier

The First Virginia Regiment will conduct a memorial wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution. Starting at 11 a.m. on the morning of the parade, this special ceremony will be held in the courtyard behind the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax Street, in Alexandria.

The structure of the ceremony draws upon the traditions of the U. S. Army full honor wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, as well as from descriptions of a Revolutionary War. The ceremony includes a tomb guard provided by the First Virginia, complete with a changing of the guard as described in General von Steuben’s drill manual for the Continental Army. The program will include guest speakers, as well as a minister. The group also fires a 21-gun salute with their authentic flintlock muskets.

Each visitor will be provided with a flower handed out as people enter the graveyard. Included in the ceremony are school children and Boy Scouts, some of them serving as wreath bearers who help each guest speaker to place a wreath on the Tomb. The number of visitors in attendance has grown every year. While this is a formal ceremony in a military sense, one cannot help but notice that everyone in attendance becomes part of this moment of remembrance.

The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier is located in the courtyard behind the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m.on Monday, February 19. The event is open to the public and is free.