Here's how you can honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11

A volunteer cleans a headstone at Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia on Sept. 10, 2021. Photo credit Department of Veterans Affairs

Looking for a way to honor those who served in the nation’s armed forces in the 21 years since the Sept. 11 attacks?

The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration is looking for volunteers to participate in its fourth annual National Day of Service.

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The event will take place at more than 60 cemeteries across the country. Volunteers will clean headstones and participate in other beautification efforts.

“By performing a service, cleaning a headstone and saying their names, we tell these heroes our nation has not forgotten all they sacrificed for us said Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Matt Quinn in a release.

Former Acting Under Secretary for Health and Retired Army Colonel Dr. Gerald Cross volunteered during a Day of Service several years ago at Alexandria National.

“While the cemetery was close to our Virginia home, this was the first opportunity to visit,” he said. “I was startled by the stark reminder that these soldiers were taken so early in life. They missed so much. It meant a lot to us to ‘visit’ and spend a few moments with these young men.”

VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry The Load to put on the event. To learn more and view a list of participating cemeteries and start times, visit here.

Those wishing to volunteer should register at Carry The Load's National Day of Service page. Cleaning supplies and other materials will be provided; there is no cost to participate, and all are welcome.

Reach Julia LeDoux at

Featured Image Photo Credit: Department of Veterans Affairs