Memorial Week at The War Memorial

The War Memorial dedicates an entire week to recognize, reflect, and pay respect to veterans, military members, and their families

The War Memorial is setting aside an entire week to honor our community’s veterans, military service members, and their families with special programs and events leading up to Memorial Day.

The week includes three individual programs: Our Community Salutes on May 21, 2019; An Evening of Red, White and Blue, a premiere gala event on May 23, 2019; and the annual Memorial Day Service on May 27, 2019.

All events will be held at The War Memorial, located at 32 Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe Farms. For more information on Memorial Week as a whole, guests can visit www.warmemorial.org/memorialweek.


Our Community Salutes — Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Reception for Enlistees and Families at 6pm | Ceremony at 7pm

Our Community Salutes is a national non-profit created to recognize and celebrate high school students who are enlisting in the armed forces after graduation. The War Memorial opens its doors to the courageous young men and women who are taking the Oath of Enlistment. A private reception, with a light dinner and access to resources will be held for enlistees and their family members in The War Memorial’s ballroom prior to the ceremony.  

The War Memorial’s longstanding enlistee recognition ceremony is free and open to all who feel compelled to witness this stirring commitment to service; weather permitting, the event will be held on the lakefront lawn of The War Memorial. No registration is required for guests. Enlistees must pre-register online at www.warmemorial.org/memorialweek.


An Evening of Red, White and Blue — Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6pm

An Evening of Red, White and Blue is The War Memorial’s premiere gala event, during which we honor our heroes and raise funds in support of The Patriot Initiative Fund. This restricted area of The War Memorial’s endowment provides financial gifts to impactful organizations focused on honoring and serving veteran causes, as well as funding the patriotic programs that occur at The War Memorial throughout the year. Guests will enjoy a courtyard reception featuring music by The Thriftshop Boys, a gourmet meal in our beautiful ballroom, and a grand finale of fireworks on our lakefront lawn.

The ceremony will include recognition of local organizations, partners, and individuals working to support Detroit area veterans. Major General (Ret.) Gregory J. Vadnais will receive the Spirit of Service award, which recognizes his unwavering support and dedication to the military community.

Tickets for An Evening of Red, White and Blue are available in two levels: $185 for the entire evening (6–10pm), or $50 for the Fireworks Afterglow only (8:30–10pm). A very limited quantity of tickets is still available for purchase through The War Memorial’s Department of Institutional Advancement at 313.332.4075.

Suggested dress is chic red, white and blue attire.


Memorial Day Service — Monday, May 27, 2019 at 10am

The War Memorial’s week of service and honor culminates in a solemn hour of remembrance during our traditional Memorial Day Service. This moving ceremony takes place on the lakefront lawn of The War Memorial as we honor and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Major General Daniel G. Mitchell, Commander, US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, will give the keynote address.

The event features a reading of the names of fallen Grosse Pointe service members from all military branches, followed by the Tolling of the Bell and a Rifle Salute.

The service will conclude with a moment of quietude, featuring a rendition of Amazing Grace performed on bagpipes.

The Memorial Day Service is free, open to the public, and attended by hundreds of members of the community. Guests are welcome to experience the service from their boats. No registration is required.

Also participating are members of the Grosse Pointe Veterans Club, Motor City Brass Band, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Ritual Firing Team of V.F.W. Bruce Post 1146, Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Color Corps, the Grosse Pointe Veterans Garden, the American Legion Grosse Pointe Post 303, along with local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.


About Major General (Ret.) Gregory J. Vadnais

Major General (Ret.) Gregory J. Vadnais is the Adjutant General and Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for Michigan. He commands and directs the Michigan Army and Air National Guard, totaling 159 units. Prior to his current position, he retired as the commander of the Indiana Army National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division. Major General Vadnais enlisted as a soldier in 1970 and became a Second Lieutenant in 1973 after entering the Michigan Military Academy Officer Candidate School. In the course of his career, over 9,000 soldiers were mobilized and deployed to 17 different countries. Major General Vadnais oversaw the Joint Task Force-Cyclone in response to Hurricane Katrina by providing command of over 14,000 soldiers and airmen. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and studied at the Army War College for a year.


About Major General Daniel G. Mitchell

Major General Daniel G. Mitchell assumed the duties as Commander, U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command on 12 July 2018. His previous General Officer assignments include: Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Operations, G-3/4, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Deputy Commanding General for Support, later Director, G-3/5/7, Installation Management Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Deputy Commanding General, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, Fort Bragg, NC and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Kuwait; Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, IL; Executive Officer to the Deputy Commanding General, Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL; Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL.

Major General Mitchell’s brigade command was as the Commander, Red River Army Depot,

U.S. Army, Texarkana, TX. His battalion command was as the Commander, 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany and OPERATIONS JOINT GUARDIAN, Kosovo and IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq.

Major General Mitchell graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned on 22 May 1985 at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps. He also holds Master’s Degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Army War College.

During his career he has served overseas in Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Kuwait.

His decorations and badges include: Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Legion of Merit (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Bronze Star Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Achievement Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Parachutist Badge; and Army Staff Identification Badge.

Major General Mitchell is married to the former Lori Gieruszczak. They have been married for over 30 years and have four 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
313.332.4053
jkaminski@warmemorial.org