WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced its cemeteries will host wreath-laying ceremonies the week of April 6 to commemorate the 353,082 World War I Veterans interred in VA sites across the country.
“These wreath-laying ceremonies recommit our promise to memorialize the service and sacrifice of World War I Veterans enshrined in our national cemeteries,” said Ronald E. Walters, Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. “We encourage the community to honor this generation of brave Veterans.”
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on the German Empire after attacks on American ships and commercial ships transporting American passengers. On April 6, 1917, Congress voted to declare war on the German Empire. When the war ended Nov. 11, 1918, more than 2 million Americans had served.
NCA will arrange wreath-laying ceremonies with assistance from local cemetery support committees and other Veterans service organizations. For a full listing of World War I Centennial events, please visit http://www.cem.va.gov/.
VA operates 135 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries.