On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I came to an end. The significance of that armistice 100 years ago—and the service of veterans of all wars—will be highlighted during programs on Sunday.
The Loudoun World War I Centennial Committee will hold a special commemoration starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the historic Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg.
The program is co-sponsored by the Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court, The George C. Marshall International Center, Morven Park, Mosby Heritage Area Association, NOVA Parks, Oatlands, and Thomas Balch Library. Speakers representing these institutions will share stories of local history and residents during the war. Life on the home front and on the battlefield will be addressed. World War I posters, documents, photographs and artifacts will be on display before and after the program. The morning’s program will end with the laying of poppies at the Loudoun County World War I monument on the courthouse grounds.
At 2 p.m., The George C. Marshall International Center, in partnership with the Town of Leesburg and Loudoun County, will host the county’s main Veterans Day Commemoration.
Major General John M. Epperly will be the keynote speaker. Epperly, a 1989 West Point graduate, is the commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division, Army National Guard at Ft. Belvoir, a unit that was formed in 1917 just three months after the U.S. entered World War I. Deployed to the Western Front as part of the American Expeditionary Force in 1918, the unit then joined the U.S. First Army’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive. During its 21 days of combat, the division captured 2,148 prisoners, but suffered 30 percent casualties with more than 5,800 men killed or wounded.
The program will include musical performances and a display of military equipment.
The Marshall House is located at 217 Edwards Ferry Road in Leesburg.
Following the event, Loudoun Brewing Company, former Del. Joe T. May and OLS Consulting have partnered to organize a barbecue to benefit the George C. Marshall International Center. May is bringing Shenandoah Valley-style barbecued chicken. Loudoun Brewing Company has created a special craft beer for the occasion, named “Marshall’s Influence.” OLS Consulting is contributing sides and water.
Tickets for the meal, to be served at Loudoun Brewing adjacent to the Marshal House, will be available for purchase at Loudoun Brewing.