American Veterans for Equal Rights will participate in the One Hundred Forty-Fifth National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, May 27, 2013. AVER will place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and will “post colors” for the first time in the Veteran Service Organization (VSO) Parade of Colors at the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater as part of the official Memorial Day program with President Barack Obama in attendance.
AVER will be participating at Arlington in partnership with our sister organization Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC), a DC based non-profit that “provides support, resources, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military partners and their families.” MPFC is co-founded by Tracey Hepner, who is married to Brigadier General Tammy Smith, the first openly LGBT flag officer in the United States military. MPFC will celebrate its second anniversary on Memorial Day, 2013.
Parade of Colors at Arlington
AVER has chosen to carry the Pride flag as our organization colors for the VSO Parade of Colors ceremony. The Pride flag will be a visible representation to all present of the service and sacrifices of LGBT members of the military. AVER National President Danny Ingram will carry the Pride Flag which will have AVER, POW/MIA, and DADT Repeal streamers attached. The National Colors will be carried by an active duty member of the military representing MPFC. Both the Pride flag and the National Colors will be supplied by AVER and were manufactured by the Annin Company, a long-time US Based supplier of flags.
AVER is honored and pleased to be returning to Arlington for Memorial Day following a number of years of absence. As a Veterans Service Organization it is appropriate for AVER to be present with other national VSOs on this special day at Arlington. We are equally pleased to be partnering with MPFC for the first time. The wreath that we place at the Tomb will bear the names of both AVER and MPFC.
Members of AVER are strongly encouraged to attend the ceremonies at Arlington on the 145th National Memorial Day Observance. AVER hopes that the Capitol City Chapter of AVER can become a regular participant in Memorial Day activities in the future.
Danny Ingram, National President
American Veterans for Equal Rights