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A Special Remembrance on Veterans Day

Thea Richard, Senior Manager of Federal Programs at America250 remembers her father, Simon during a special ceremony at Arlington Cemetery

On Veterans Day, 2022, Thea Richard, Senior Manager of Federal Programs at America250, attended the 69th annual National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery. The invitation extends from America 250’s partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sitting in Arlington National Cemetery’s Amphitheater that morning, Thea listened to Vice President Kamala Harris describe America as a promise. It served as a reminder to never take our freedom for granted.

Along with America250’s CEO Tony Rucci, Thea had the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Thea shares her personal experience: “During the solemn ceremony, I was overcome with emotion as we passed the wreath to the sentinel. My father, Simon Lawrence Richard—a 26-year Navy Veteran who had served three tours in the Vietnam War—is buried in plot 60. As I reached out my arms, facing Washington, DC with the headstones in the foreground, I felt immense pride at having this chance to honor my father and all those laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. And on that day of gratitude for all who serve and have served in our Armed Forces, it was especially meaningful to thank all who had paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Black Navy veteran wearing a jacket and a scarf

Navy Veteran Simon Lawrence Richard

Two people standing on opposite sides of a funeral wreath

America250’s CEO Tony Rucci and Thea Richard, Senior Manager of Federal Programs at the 69th annual National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery.

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