2017 Veterans Day Observance at The Wall

Each year on Veterans Day, thousands of veterans and their families congregate at The Wall to remember and to honor those who served in the U.S. armed forces. On these special days, prominent Americans from all walks of life come to the Memorial to deliver thoughtful and patriotic speeches.  

Veterans Day Seating is now closed.  

There will be standing-only room outside of the seating area.  If you are unable to stand for that length of time, please bring your own seat.  If there are any available seats right before the start of the ceremony, they will open to unregistered guests.  

Hotel Information

VVMF is pleased to provide a courtesy room block for Veterans Day weekend. Please see below for options regarding reserving rooms.



Date and Time:  November 11, 2017 - 1:00 p.m.

Location:  Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Washington, DC [map]

Keynote Speaker:  Former Secretary of Defense, The Honorable Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel served as the 24th Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015. During his tenure, he directed significant steps to modernize America’s partnerships and alliances, advance the rebalance in Asia-Pacific, bolster support for European allies, and enhance defense cooperation in the Middle East while overseeing the end of America’s combat mission in Afghanistan. In addition, he led major initiatives for service members and their families, including increasing resources for suicide prevention, combating sexual assault, and accounting for missing personnel. 

Further, Secretary Hagel improved partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to include health record interoperability, service treatment record transferability, and continuity of mental health services and support.  Secretary Hagel launched the Defense Innovation Initiative to better prepare the Pentagon for future threats, and enacted comprehensive reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health system. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense.

Hagel served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska. Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. He Chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee; and the Banking Committee’s International Trade and Finance, and Securities Subcommittees. Hagel also served as the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group. [Full Bio]

Special Remarks:  Maya Lin, architect and sculptor, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Artist, designer and environmentalist, Maya Lin interprets the natural world through science, history, politics, and culture, creating a remarkable and highly acclaimed body of work in art and architecture. Her works merge the physical and psychological environment, presenting a new way of seeing the world around us. 

Lin’s Memorials address the critical social and historical issues of our time. From the Vietnam Memorial which she designed as an undergraduate student at Yale, to The Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama, and the Women’s Table at Yale make our history part of the landscape. To her latest, What is Missing? which is focused on the environment.

Lin has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, with works in the permanent collections of the National gallery of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The Smithsonian Institution; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Nevada Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; and the California Academy of Sciences.

In 2009 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, and in 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama, the Nation’s highest Civilian Honor.

 [Full Bio]

Photo credit: Walter Smith




 Chairman’s Circle

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)


Leadership Circle

Alan Buckelew

William F. Murdy


35th Anniversary Benefactors

The Land of The Free Foundation

PenFed Credit Union

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick W. Smith


Wells Fargo


Legacy Circle

Bank of America

Kiewit Inc.



Patriot Circle

Henry Cisneros

General and Mrs. Charles W. Dyke, USA (Ret.)

William P. Kupper

Red McCombs


Keeping the Promise Partners

Arthur D. Huebner

Huong Le

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

Nationstar Mortgage

New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

Ron and Cecilia Rinard

Vectren Corporation