Veterans Day — Celebrating Those Who Served

Major hostilities of World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the time at which the Armistice with Germany was signed. Along with Europe, the United States originally observed Armistice Day, remembering those who died in the “war to end all wars.” Turns out, it didn’t end all wars. Along came another world war (enough already, Germany — you had your chance!) and then another war (Korean War) and Armistice Day evolved in 1954 into Veterans Day. Congress, and our veterans, realized that we’d be better off creating a day to remember American veterans of all wars, since these wars just seemed to keep on coming.

While Memorial Day celebrates our veterans who died while serving, Veterans Day celebrates all U.S. military veterans.

Summer Whites & Summer Nights: Navy Band Concert

Springfield rifles, disco, precision drills, bayonets, the presenting of the flag and “Jersey Boys” — how’s that for a hot date on a hot summer night? The Navy band concert is part of a long tradition of live military concerts in DC, and a perfect storm of summer whites and summer nights.

The Concert on the Avenue series features the United States Navy Band and Navy Ceremonial Guard playing live in concert on select Tuesday evenings this summer at the U.S. Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue. The next shows are July 22, July 29, August 12 and August 19.

If the Navy’s top brass kicking beats isn’t enough to float your boat, get a load of the Sea Chanters, the official chorus of the U.S. Navy. The Chanters’ repertoire includes sea chanteys, patriotic songs and even pop ditties. In the Heyday video below, the Sideboys ensemble (part of the Sea Chanters chorus) performs “Sherry” as part of its “Jersey Boys” medley during a concert at the U.S. Navy Memorial on June 17, 2014. Musician 1st Class Michael Webb, a native of Reston, Va., sings lead.

The Navy loves pop music!

When the Village People released “In the Navy” in 1978, the Navy contacted the group about using the song as a recruitment tool in a TV and radio ad campaign. The band’s manager agreed, on the condition that the Navy help them shoot the music video. The Navy provided the Village People with the warship USS Reasoner in San Diego, several aircraft and a crew with strict orders not to dance. The Navy later canceled the campaign after protests about the use of taxpayer money to support a group that some thought might have ulterior motives for joining the Navy. Here’s the official video. You decide.