These are annual Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs events that are held at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. For specific information about dates and times of these events, please check our Events page. For Cemetery photos and event albums, please visit our Facebook page!
A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect). The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives and those who perished while in service.
Wreaths Across America was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project, an event that began in 1992 with the donation and laying of 5,000 remembrance wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, the idea of donating 7 wreaths (one for each branch of the military as well as POW/MIA) was conceived. Wreaths Across works hard to fulfill its mission to ‘Remember, Honor and Teach.” Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, remembrance wreaths are placed at the headstones of fallen veterans at more than 800 locations across the country and overseas.
Their mission: Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. Iowa Veterans Cemetery is honored to be part of that group. IVC continues the tradition of Wreaths Across America by laying wreaths on every headstone, columbaria plaza, and memorial as an annual remembrance of the sacrifice that our veterans have made.
Wreaths Across America is made possible by thousands of volunteers who organize local ceremonies, raise funds to sponsor wreaths, and participate in the events. The cost of programs is paid by individual wreath sponsors, corporate donors, and volunteer truckers.
See more at: www.wreathsacrossamerica.org
Contact Iowa Veterans Cemetery for additional information on donating and volunteering: 515.996.9048.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.
On May 5, 1868, Memorial Day was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, for “the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” On that first national celebration of the holiday, flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars made the poppy the official memorial flower to represent United States veterans.
In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
To help remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000, which asks that at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe, in their own way, a “Moment of Remembrance and Respect.
For Cemetery photos and event albums, please visit our Facebook page!