Saturday, May 24, 2014

Servicemembers, Veterans Honored During Memorial Day Weekend

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following:

Servicemembers, Veterans Honored During Memorial Day Weekend

CONTACT: Gretchen Andersen (212) 982-9699 or

Servicemembers, Veterans Honored During Memorial Day Weekend
For the first time, nearly 7,000 names of servicemembers who died in the line of duty will be read aloud on Saturday
IAVA Member Ann Weeby, Iraq War veteran, to lay wreath at Arlington Cemetery Monday
IAVA Leaders also to participate in ceremony at the Intrepid in NYC

New York, NY (May 23, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization for post-9/11 veterans and their families, will participate in a series of events this weekend to honor Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

On Saturday, IAVA will join the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for the National Reading of the Names which will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Mall. This will be the first time that names of the nearly 7,000 servicemembers who were killed in action during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be read aloud on the National Mall. IAVA Member Ann Weeby, an Iraq War veteran, will represent the organization. More than 450 Americans will be participating in the event, including the Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, and General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.). 

On Monday, IAVA members will participate in wreath-laying events at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC and at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. At Arlington National Cemetery, IAVA members will walk to Section 60. In New York, Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA CEO & Founder, will be available for interviews about Memorial Day as well as the growing VA scandal.

For the third year, IAVA is leading the “Go Silent” campaign, which encourages Americans to pledge and be silent for a full minute at 12:01 p.m. EDT on Memorial Day.  The online pledge allows for the pledge to be made in honor of a fallen veteran. IAVA members and supporters have embraced technology like the Go Silent website for a shared nationwide experience.

Saturday: National Reading of the Names
WHAT: National Reading of the Names, where nearly 7,000 America servicemembers’ names will be read on the National Mall
WHO: In order of appearance:
              The Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense
              General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)
              Major Heather Penney, USAFR
              Ruth Stonesifer, Gold Star Mother of Kristofer Tif Stonesifer
              Ann Weeby, ARNG, IAVA Member
             Captain Jason Haag, USMC (Ret.) and board member of K9s for Warriors
             The Honorable John McHugh, Secretary of the Army
WHEN: Saturday, May 24, 2014
              Opening Ceremony begins at 9 am
              Reading of the Names begins at 10 am 
              Closing Ceremony at 6:30 pm  
WHERE: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (along Constitution Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets, northeast of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall)

Monday in Washington DC: National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery
WHAT: IAVA members lay wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and walk to Section 60 
WHO: IAVA member Ann Weeby
              Post-9/11 veterans
WHEN: Monday, May 26, 2014 
                A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m. 
                A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11 a.m. and will be followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. 
WHERE: Arlington National Cemetery, 1 Memorial Ave Arlington, VA 22211
Monday in New York: Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Memorial Day Ceremony and Paul Rieckhoff availability
WHAT: IAVA members participate in wreath-laying ceremony 
WHO: Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and CEO 
             Derek Bennett, IAVA Chief of Staff
WHEN: Monday, May 26 at 1 PM 
WHERE: Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Pier 86 W 46th St and 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Note to media: Please email or calling 212-982-9699 if you would like to schedule an interview with IAVA CEO & Founder Paul Rieckhoff and IAVA leadership during Memorial Day weekend.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator. 
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