OXON HILL, Md. - As we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, McCormick and Schmick's seafood restaurant at National Harbor treated all veterans to a special meal on the house.
This is the second year the restaurant has invited military veterans and servicemembers to the restaurant for a complimentary lunch or dinner. McCormick and Schmick's offers a complimentary entree to all veterans each year on Veterans Day, but decided last year to expand to Memorial Day.
"It's personal," said Rene Paglinawan. "I was born in the Philippines and my family traveled from the Philippines when I was five years old, and during that time, the revolution was happening in the Philippines and the United States Army helped us."
A few decades later, Paglinawan is the general manager of this McCormick and Schmick's location.
"Fort Belvoir is right down the street," said Paglinawan. "We also have Andrews Air Force Base and the Pentagon right around the corner from us, so this is our community and we wanted to do what we can to help out."
Most of the veterans we spoke with heard about the complimentary meal on social media. The token of appreciation featured some of the restaurant's most popular entrees such as the fish and chips, the cedar planked salmon and the chicken fettuccine.
Army Signal Telecommunications Chief Shakira Gibbs said the special meal is a moment to remember Memorial Day's true meaning.
It's kind of for the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives, but I appreciate it," said Gibbs.
"I'm happy that they honor those that are serving for our country and definitely those that are fallen soldiers," said Joseph Taylor, a financial specialist in the Air Force. "It gives me great pride to be recognized."
Military identification was required for the free dinner and the entrees had to be enjoyed at the restaurant.
The occasion was a huge hit. We are told more than 1,000 servicemen and servicewomen came out for lunch and dinner.