The War Memorial Celebrates Bravery and Sacrifice of Community Heroes During Annual Veterans Day Breakfast

Hundreds of veterans and active duty servicemembers will gather at The War Memorial for the annual Veterans Day Breakfast and celebration of military service Monday, November 12. Doors to the event open at 7am, with the program beginning at 7:45am and breakfast served at 8am. The War Memorial hosts this event year-over-year to honor and recognize the numerous servicewomen and men in the community.

The program includes the presentation of thank-you cards handmade by local Grosse Pointe school students, an uplifting service song medley from Motor City Brass Bank, remarks from Michigan Veterans Affairs Director James Robert Redford, as well as Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. The event will also include a video highlight of previous patriotic events held at The War Memorial. The Veterans Day Breakfast offers a space for local service members to experience camaraderie through shared stories and hospitality.

The breakfast program will also feature the presentation of $18,000 in grant funding to local non-profits working to enhance and enrich the lives of Michigan veterans. Members of The War Memorial’s Patriot Initiative Committee will announce Fallen and Wounded Solider Fund, Heroes’ Movement, and Grosse Pointe Artists Association as the recipients of grants to be used for high-value social impact services.

“Every year, the Patriot Initiative Fund strives to recognize veterans as patriots and solidify The War Memorial’s commitment to serving and fostering positive growth within the veteran community,” said Ed Lazar, Patriot Initiative Committee Co-Chair. “The ability to award grants to organizations that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of veterans and their families affirms our willingness and desire to create meaningful relationships with local non-profits that honor our local servicepeople and first responders.”

The Patriot Initiative is a designated fund in the endowment and serves as a philanthropic arm of The War Memorial’s mission. The grants awarded provide support to organizations that excel at providing service to patriots from local communities. The Patriot Initiative also offers a series of events dedicated to servicemembers on The War Memorial campus.

This year’s event will include a table reserved especially for World War II veterans. Revered in the same way as the bronze plaques near The War Memorial grand staircase, these men and women are a testament to the selfless act of serving and protecting our nation.

“Patriotism and a dedication to American democracy impacts and helps to direct The War Memorial’s programming choices,” said War Memorial President and CEO, Charles Burke. “Every veteran who walks through our doors, every name engraved on our plaques, and every hero we encounter, reestablishes our dedication to honoring and recognizing the many sacrifices these individuals have made for our safety and freedom.”

The event is free for veterans to attend and an additional $10 per guest. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 313.881.7511.

The War Memorial is located at 32 Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. The institution is a 501(c)(3) organization and receives no local, state, or federal funding.

About James Robert Redford

James Robert Redford was appointed interim director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency by Gov. Rick Snyder on Feb.19, 2016 and director on April 27, 2016. In September 1984, Redford was commissioned as Ensign in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) student program by his brother, who was then a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. Following law school, Redford served five years on active duty and an additional 23 years in the Navy Reserves. His assignments included several staff judge advocate tours and three commanding officer assignments. In 2007, Redford was selected to serve as judge of the Navy and Marine Corps trial judiciary, serving as commanding Officer of the Navy Reserve Trial Judiciary. His last assignment was in 2008 as Legal and Legislative Affairs Counsel to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon. In 2012, Redford transferred to retired status at the rank of Captain (O-6). His awards include the Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (twice), Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six times), Navy Achievement Medal (six times) and National Defense Medal (twice).

Prior to his MVAA appointment, he served as the governor’s chief legal counsel, Kent County Circuit Court judge and assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Michigan. Redford earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from John Carroll University (Ohio) and his juris doctorate from the University of Detroit Law School. He is married to Dianne Redford and has three children.

About The War Memorial

The War Memorial, located on the shores of Lake Saint Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, is a legacy-filled institution with a reenergized determination to emerge as a regional driver of arts, learning, patriotism, hospitality and connectivity. Situated on the grounds of the historic Alger Estate, The War Memorial serves an estimated 250,000 individuals with over 3,000 functions annually, including programs to honor veterans, engagement experiences for adults and children, community events and celebrations, and premier hospitality services. With new programming and innovative leadership, The War Memorial is a unique, dynamic and forward-thinking hub for southeast Michigan with a mission to be a patriotic, cultural, and community leader.

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Media Contact

Jessi Kaminski
Manager of Communications and Programming

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