We the Partnership

Partnership joins VA and Carry the Load for National Day of Service

By Parker Schaffel
September 17, 2021 | Updated on September 21, 2021
VA Secretary Denis McDonough, far left, and Partnership President and CEO Max Stier, second from the right, join VA staff at Quantico National Cemetery.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on our nation, the Partnership for Public Service teamed up with the VA’s National Cemetery Administration and the nonprofit Carry the Load as part of a national day of service on Sept. 10.

Partnership CEO and president Max Stier joined VA Secretary Denis McDonough at a Quantico National Cemetery event to honor veterans buried there, some of whom were victims of the attack on the Pentagon.

Partnership staff at the Alexandria National Cemetery.

Some 30 miles north of Quantico, in Alexandria, VA, about 25 Partnership employees and their families also participated in the day of service at an event at Alexandria National Cemetery. And Partnership employees outside the D.C.-area participated in national cemeteries near them.

The Partnership team joined about 125 other volunteers to clean headstones and learn about the veterans buried there through the National Cemetery Administration’s Veterans Legacy Memorial, an online memorial space to honor veterans that volunteers accessed through their smartphones.

Julie Taylor, the Partnership’s senior manager of operations and donor stewardship

The morning event started with an introduction by Ron Walters, acting undersecretary for memorial affairs with the VA’s National Cemetery Administration. Walters was honored with a 2014 Service to America Medals finalist for his work at the VA.   

Partnership team members cleaned hundreds of headstones and placed American flags in front of each one, developing strong bonds while they worked. The team then headed to Alexandria’s African American Heritage Memorial Park for reflection and lunch.

The nationwide event was sponsored by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration and Carry the Load, which provides active ways for people to connect with the sacrifices made daily by our U.S. military, our veterans and our country’s first responders. Read more about the event at Quantico on the VA’s VAntage Point.

Kelly Shih, manager, leadership development at the Partnership
Tim McManus, the Partnership’s chief operating officer

Parker Schaffel

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