By Mr. Cory Hancock (JFHQNCRMDW)August 23, 2013
(ARLINGTON, Va.) - - Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Commanding General Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington, and District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), August 21, 2013.
The wreath laying was part of a new initiative of the ongoing engagement program between JFHQ-NCR/MDW and its interagency partners. Buchanan's Ceremonies and Special Events Office, Provost Marshal Office, Public Affairs Office, and the Interagency Coordination Office all worked on the logistical requirements for this event.
"MDW has a great partnership with MPD and ANC. The Tomb of the Unknowns is sacred ground for us," said Buchanan. "It means a great deal for our partners to join us in recognizing the importance of the Tomb."
"This ceremony is an honor usually bestowed upon military personnel and visiting foreign dignitaries," said Lanier. "For a non-military organization to be invited here is very special."
In addition to laying a Wreath, Lanier was given a tour of the Memorial Amphitheater Trophy Room, which includes artifacts and medals presented to Tomb of the Unknowns by foreign dignitaries from around the world. Buchanan also presented Lanier with a memento thanking her for her service in the Nation's Capital.
"The wreath laying was very emotional," said Lanier. "It caught me off guard. I could feel how significant this is."
This event is part of an effort to further enhance the interagency partnerships and recognize the enormous contributions of the Metropolitan Police Department to both the District of Columbia and the National Capital Region.
"I was humbled that Chief Lanier and the MPD leadership took time out of their busy schedules to honor the sacrifices of the fallen," said Buchanan. "What's even more humbling is how the MPD serves all of us every day in the District.
"We work very closely with our military and law enforcement partners," said Lanier. "It's one of the great things about being in the Nation's Capital."
MPD used the opportunity of the wreath laying not only to show their strong bond with the MDW but also to honor those within their ranks who have served or are currently serving in the military.
"Just like the military, the Metropolitan Police Department is a part of the brotherhood of protectors," said Lanier. "Many of MPD's personnel have served or are in the military. Right now there are 24 members of MPD on military leave. We are honored to represent them today."
"We plan together, coordinate for special events, and train together. Based on that, we have a strong partnership that allows us to cooperate in times of trial," said Buchanan. "That trial could be planned like a State Funeral or during a time of a national emergency. This partnership is critical for the security of the Nation and our citizens."
More than 200 attendees, many in the National Capital law enforcement and military communities watched the ceremony.