2020 Veterans Day Pictures!
Honorary Veteran of 2020: Ensign Ross T. Elliott, Jr
This year, we especially honor the sacrifice of Ensign Ross Tompkins Elliott, Jr., United States Navy. Ensign Elliott was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Assistant Gunnery and Machine-Gun Officer on board the Destroyer U.S.S. EMMONS during operations against enemy Japanese forces off Okinawa, on April 6th, 1945.
Stationed on the flying bridge, 24-year old Ensign Elliott ably directed the steady fire of his weapons against an overwhelming number of Japanese kamikaze planes attempting to crash dive the deck of his ship. He maintained close control of his batteries and shot down two of the six enemy during a furiously waged battle that persisted for more than two and a half hours.
Suddenly aware that one of the attacking planes could not be deflected and would strike the USS EMMONS in the vicinity of the bridge, he ordered all of his personnel on the flying bridge to lie close together on the deck against a protective armored support of a heavy gun turret. He then hurled himself across the men as the plane crashed the ship from the port side.
Fatally wounded by the enemy bullets as a result of this heroic act, Ensign Elliott had succeeded in protecting his men from serious injury and death, with all personnel surviving without injuries despite violent explosions and fires which followed the crash.
Vigilant and determined in the performance of duty, Ensign Elliott fought boldly and brilliantly in defense of his ship. His indomitable fortitude and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice on behalf of his crew, sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. Ensign Elliott was buried at sea following this attack. His memorial marker here at the St. Mary Cemetery is a reminder to all of us of his ultimate sacrifice to his country.
Den Leaders Pat Costello and Kurt Vogel placed a wreath and flag at Ensign Elliott’s memorial marker.
Honor our Heroes!
Please come honor our hometown heroes on Veteran's Day. Why do we celebrate this day? In 1919, President Wilson designated Nov 11th, the day of the armistice between the allies and Germany, as “Armistice Day” to commemorate the veterans of The Great War, later called World War I. In 1929, Congress declared Armistice Day a legal holiday, and in 1954, changed the name to Veteran’s Day to honor all veterans who have served our nation.
St. Mary’s Cemetery occupies an oblong plot between Royal and Washington Streets, bounded on the north by St. Mary’s School and on the south by the busy Interstate I-95 approach to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. In spite of the throb of modern life and activity that surrounds it, a walk among the graves, some ancient, some new, transcends time. Dating from the founding of the parish in 1795, it is the oldest Catholic cemetery in Virginia. William Thorton Alexander deeded the land to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in 1803.
St. Mary’s Cemetery is the resting place of veterans that have served in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and the Cold War. The earliest marked grave is Private Lawrence Hurdle who served in the Revolutionary War. However, historians have documented the burials of Revolutionary War veterans Caven Boa, Francis Ignatius Hagen, and Pierre La Croix, who also fought in the French and Indian War.
Royal Street Entrance
When: Thursday, Nov 11th @ 10:00am
Where: St. Mary’s Cemetery
Uniform: Scout Uniform
Bring: Screwdriver or rod to make a hole for flags
Please arrive by 10am. The gate on Royal Street should be open. If the gate isn't open please check the Washington Street entrance.
Cemetery sections will be divided by Dens.
Grave Site Maps
Google Earth KML File of Veteran Graves
The file below is current as of October 20, 2020. Each veteran grave is marked and includes a photo of their headstone marker. The iOS or Android app "ArcGIS Earth" is the preferred app to use. Save the file to your smartphone and open with this app. Opening this file on a smartphone with a native app like Google Maps or Apple Maps will work, but headstone photos will not load.