To mark Veterans Day 2021 the Duke and Duchess visited a New Jersey military base earlier today. They hosted a luncheon for service members and their spouses at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
This Sunday, November 14th marks Remembrance Day, ais Memorial Day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honor armed forces members who have died in the line of duty. It’s been an annual tradition for The Queen and Members of the Royal Family to gather at the Cenotaph in London for the day. Since Harry stepped down as a working member of the Royal family, he has not attended the ceremony. Instead, last year he and Meghan honored the occasion with a visit to the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
The Duke and Duchess had an amazing Veterans day!
The duke and duchess were photographed chatting and smiling with service members and their families on Veterans Day.
While there, they met with members of all six branches of the U.S. military. They also hosted a luncheon for service members and their spouses. A spokesperson for the sussexes noted that the group reportedly discussed mental health and the importance of community during lunch.
The lunch took place at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. It’s an air force base located 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. The base is the only tri-service base in the United States Department of Defense. It includes units from all six armed forces branches.
Both Meghan and Harry supported the USO and the military community before they met!
Before they were even dating, both Meghan and Harry were both supporters of the USO and the military community.
The Duke has a long-standing commitment to the military. He served in the Army for ten years, rising to the rank of Captain, and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. He has also made veterans affairs a priority in his advocacy work. In 2015, he stopped by the USO Warrior and Family Center on Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
Meghan was also very involved in supporting the military herself. In 2014, she visited 5 countries as a part of the USO Chairman Holiday tour. The country she visited was Spain, Italy, Turkey Afghanistan, and England. During the tour, she helped entertain thousands of service members and their families.
“I have always had such a profound respect for our nation’s troops and military families. I cannot thank them enough for everything they do for us.” – Meghan 2014
Meghan and Harry also shared about the visit on Archewell saying:
Today, November 11, is a day for reflection, honor, and admiration in many countries around the world.
In the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Nations, it is Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration of those who died in world wars and in conflict. Families wear the Remembrance Poppy to memorialize soldiers whose lives have been taken, many lay wreaths, and coinciding with the moment when the Armistice was signed to end World War I—”the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”—there’s a period of silence and quiet observance at ceremonies held in the U.K. and across the world.
In the United States, it is Veterans Day, a national holiday to recognize and applaud all veterans of the U.S. military. Around the country, local communities gather and host events to celebrate those who served. And today at Arlington National Cemetery—which holds an annual ceremony to honor men and women who have worn the uniform during war and peacetime—the sacred Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is turning 100-years old.
Throughout the week, and in reflection of each of these days, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have committed themselves to remembering, appreciating, and supporting servicemembers, veterans, and military families.
During his speech at the Salute to Freedom Gala yesterday evening, Harry said
“As we honor and reflect on Remembrance Day in the UK, which shares a date with Veterans Day here in the US, my hope is for all of us to continue to support the wellbeing (and recognize the value of) our troops, veterans, and the entire military and service family. We and they are better for it.
I served 10-years in the military, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan – one as a FAC on the ground and in the dust with some of you, another as an Apache helicopter pilot in the air supporting and talking with you. Nothing was more valuable than the time I got to spend with my soldiers in a shell scrape, eating an MRE in the back of a tank (thanks for the swaps), flying a mission overhead knowing those below were safer or making each other laugh when it was needed the most. My experience in the military made me who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people I got to serve with – wherever in the world, we were. But in war, you also see and experience things you hope no one else has to. These stay with us, sometimes like a slideshow of images.”
After their visit at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the Sussexes headed over to the site’s Task Force Liberty zone. Over 10,000 Afghan evacuees are currently being supported here by the Department of Defense.
The initiative was launched in August during the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. It provides temporary housing as well as medical screening, mental health support, and education services for all ages.
The couple asked to spend time with young children who were in daily schooling. They stopped by a classroom of children learning conversational English.
Harry and Meghan talked with the kids, many of them practicing their English by saying phrases like, “Nice to meet you,” the spokesperson said. The couple asked staff about common terms in Dari — Persian dialects spoken in Afghanistan — and left every interaction with children and adults saying “Tashakur,” or “thank you.”
The teachers had been leading the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” the spokesperson added. The Duke and Duchess “happily” led the children in singing the song, and said it’s a favorite of their son, Archie.
They thanked the teachers for their efforts, and reminded them to take care of themselves and their own mental health.
The couple also lead the class for a rendition of “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” to help teach the English names of body parts. The Song is a favorite for the kids. Meghan and Harry revealed that the song also is a top choice at their home with two-year-old son Archie.
A statement on their website added that, on their way out of the classroom, the couple thanked the teachers for their “tireless efforts, and reminded them to take care of themselves and their own mental health as well.”
The duchess wore:
For today’s visit, Meghan opted for the Armani’s Draped Long-Sleeve Jersey Faux-Wrap Dress
She styled it with her Giorgio Armani velvety leather court shoes
Our Duchess stunned yesterday at the Salute To Freedom Gala yesterday! Read the blog covering the evening here.