Alexandria, VA

This Veterans Day, the Friends of Rocky Versace are holding their annual memorial for the MIA local Medal of Honor winner Rocky Versace and other Alexandria Veterans.

Versace’s unit was ambushed, but he was able to provide covering fire to allow other to escape. When he was held prisoner, Versace resisted interrogation efforts. The North Vietnamese Liberation Radio announced Versace’s execution on Sept. 26, 1965. His remains were never recovered.

The ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Avenue).

This year, retired Major General James Jackson is scheduled to be in attendance as part of a memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

“He’s going to speak and going to make a presentation to veterans in the audience who have not already received the Department of Defense Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin,” Kevin Rue, a member of the Friends of Rocky Versace, said. “The qualifying period is service in US armed forces from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.”

The veteran doesn’t have to have served in Southeast Asia, so long as they were in the military during that timeframe. No paperwork is required, Rue said Jackson will take people at their word on their service.

Rue said a few veterans he spoke with recently at an event said they didn’t know about the lapel pin, and hoped that more who qualified to receive them would show up at the ceremony.

Rue said Jackson will also be available to give out certificates of honor to Gold Star families.

The event is also scheduled to feature a performance from the Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corp — complete with Revolutionary War period uniforms — and the Alexandria Harmonizers.

The Friends of Rocky Versace gather at least twice a year, on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, to commemorate Versace and other Alexandrians who died in various American wars.

“It’s important to have heroes,” Rue said. “This country has to have heroes; those who live up to challenges, who will defend the country when the country requires defense.”

Photo via Friends of Rocky Versace/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Most City Facilities Open on Monday — “City of Alexandria government offices, libraries and recreation centers will be open on Monday, November 11.” [City of Alexandria]

Veterans Day Ceremony Planned — “The City of Alexandria and Friends of Rocky Versace will host the 18th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11, 1-2 p.m. at Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Ave.).” [City of Alexandria]

More Details About ‘The Mill’ — “A restaurant partner has been announced for The Mill, a southern market and kitchen slated for a historic warehouse on the Alexandria waterfront. Builder Murray Bonitt of Bonitt builders announced James Beard Award-winning Chef John Currence will lead the restaurant concept.” [Patch, Zebra]

Del Ray Mom Has Tasty Business — “Heather Stouffer, who lives and works in Alexandria, launched Mom Made Foods from a card table at the Del Ray Farmers Market in 2006. The company is now helping parents nationwide and is on the cusp of launching a new option for lunch boxes.” [Alexandria Living]

Hazmat Scare Was Just Flour — “Scanner: Alexandria firefighters and hazmat team dispatched to a local trail for a report of a suspicious white powder. Arriving units determined the substance to be flour, used by local runners to mark the trail.” [Twitter]

Backups on King Street Due to Chicken Sandwich — “Around lunchtime today, the sandwich was causing a traffic jam in front of the Popeyes at 4675 King Street… One lane was effectively blocked along westbound King Street approaching the Walter Reed/Beauregard Street intersection as drive-thru customers waited over 40 minutes to get their hands on the savory combination of bread, fried chicken and sauce.” [ARLnow]

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Morning Notes

Land Rover Alexandria Is Moving — A developer “has filed plans with Fairfax County to build [an] auto dealership and service center, on a 5.6-acre parcel fronting Van Dorn Street between the Capital Beltway and McGuin Drive, just outside the city of Alexandria… Beyer Auto Group will uproot its Land Rover dealership from its 22-year home at 2712 Duke St. in Alexandria to this new location, while establishing Jaguar sales on the property as well.” [Washington Business Journal]

Water Main Break Near Hospital — An extended, partial road closure was reported near Inova Alexandria Hospital yesterday (Tuesday) evening after a water main broke at the intersection of N. Jordan and Howard streets. [Twitter]

Women’s Halfway House Opens at New Location — “Friends of Guest House, the transitional organization for formerly incarcerated women, has some new digs. Twenty women moved into Friends of Guest House’s newly opened residential six month re-entry program at 120 S. Payne Street.” [Zebra]

New Insight into Severance Case — “Years after serial killer Charles Severance terrorized Alexandria, Virginia, and was convicted in three murders, the lead prosecutor is sharing key insights into the case… ‘He wanted it to be terrifying,’ [Commonwealth’s Attorney for Alexandria Bryan] Porter said of Severance’s crimes.” [WTOP]

APD Officer Saves Man from Overdose — “An Alexandria police officer saved the life of a man who had overdosed on opioids. Read his story, and learn how you too can save a life.” [City of Alexandria, Twitter]

Tonight: Beautification Awards Ceremony — “The 2019 Alexandria Beautification Awards ceremony will recognize residents, organizations, and businesses and community groups for their efforts in contributing to the beautification of the City of Alexandria. Awards will be presented in six categories.” [City of Alexandria]

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