WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to join a Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.

Organizers say Hagel will speak at the ceremony Tuesday and will pay tribute to U.S. service members. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and is open to the public.

This year’s ceremony marks the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the Three Servicemen Statue at the memorial. The sculpture depicts a white solder, an African-American soldier and a Hispanic soldier as a tribute to Vietnam veterans. It was unveiled in 1984.

Hagel is the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Defense Department. He joined the U.S. Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam and went on to earn two Purple Hearts.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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