Reflecting on our heritage and our heroes

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On the grounds of Montpelier in Orange County, Virginia, the home of James and Dolley Madison.

As we approach Thanksgiving, November is a time for reflection on our heritage and our heroes.

On November 9th and 10th, Washington and the world looked back on 100 years of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

A sea of flowers flanked the Tomb after visitors came by the thousands to pay their respects during the two-day window when the public was granted unprecedented access to the Tomb ahead of Veterans Day.

On November 14th, the British Embassy reflected on those who served in Afghanistan with a Remembrance Sunday service and reception at Christ Church Georgetown where Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Dame Karen Pierce, placed a wreath of poppies at the altar along with allied embassy representatives.

Captain James Rojek, US Army; Brigadier Paul Tennant, British Military Attaché to the US, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the US, Dame Karen Pierce, Father Timothy Cole, and Colonel Piers Ashfield, British Army.
Remembrance Sunday wreath from Embassy of France.
Remembrance Sunday wreath from Embassy of Australia.

Military leaders joined parishioners in a two minute moment of silence for the fallen, and ended the service with “God Save the Queen” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Scottish Affairs Counsellor Chris Thomson was the guest of honor on November 13th at the Tartan Ball, the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington’s annual dinner dance, back for its 71st affair, toasting Scotland’s legends and raising money for Scottish students.

Scottish Affairs Counselor Chris Thomson, second from right, at the Tartan Ball benefitting the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C.

On November 15th on a crisp autumn day, drenched with sun and the occasional gust of bracing wind, the legendary Marquis de Lafayette was remembered in the Virginia Piedmont at Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison.

Streets in Virginia Piedmont salute Lafayette and Madison.

The occasion marked 197 years to the day of Lafayette’s visit in 1824 during his Farewell Tour of the US where he was warmly received by his friend Madison, whom he admonished on the evils of slavery.

Montpelier, the home of President James Madison.
Montpelier on a crisp autumn day …

The first and only commissioned statue of James and Dolley Madison at Montpelier.
Gravesite of James Madison.

Julien Icher is a young Frenchman who is traveling the country with his organization, The Lafayette Trail, placing plaques at Lafayette sites and talking to community groups about Lafayette’s legacy as “the patriot of the world.”

France’s Consul General in Washington Francois Penguilly joined the gathering to celebrate the Montpelier marker’s unveiling with Roy F. Young, the head of The Montpelier Foundation, and our host-President James Madison.

Julien Icher, Roy F. Young, and Francois Penguilly unveiling the Lafayette Trail historic marker on the grounds of Montpelier.
James Madison and Julien Icher. Julien is documenting his travels on YouTube with the “Follow the Frenchmen” channel.

The lights in the Kennedy Center’s Opera House seemed to twinkle a little brighter when the name of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was mentioned this month.

The heroine of the law and performing arts was given a special tribute during the Washington National Opera’s “Come Home: A Celebration of Return” concert series.

Ginsburg’s piano and musical memorabilia has been donated to the WNO by her family in recognition of her passion for opera.

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