WASHINGTON (12/6/11) - Mayor Vincent Gray joined Army Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, commanding general, D.C. National Guard, and members of D.C. National Guard for their annual awards ceremony Sunday at the D.C. Armory.
This year's ceremony focused on the service of the D.C. National Guard in the 10 years since the September 11th terrorist attacks, but also emphasized several accomplishments over the past year.
The Awards and Decorations Ceremony is designed to recognize the dedication and service of the D.C. National Guard members and their families. That recognition of sacrifice extended across the globe to two D.C. Guard units deployed to Afghanistan patched in by a live video chat.
Mayor Gray - the keynote speaker - highlighted the collaboration between the D.C. National Guard and the city in times of crisis and triumph.
One program the mayor spoke about was Youth ChalleNGe, a National Guard program designed to train and teach high school dropouts between the ages of 16 to 18 in life skills necessary to succeed as productive citizens.
Other keynote speakers included Arlington (Virginia) County Fire Chief James Schwartz, and D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Kenneth Ellerbe.
The Awards and Decorations Ceremony concluded by honoring distinguished Capital Guardians and their families for their dedication and service to our country. During the ceremony, the commanding general recognized service members who deployed multiple times.
The ceremony concluded with the tradition of playing and singing the Army and Air Force songs.