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Remember the Fallen at Fourteen Engaging Battlefields and Historic Destinations This Memorial Day

The American Battlefield Trust recommends the following programs, events and activities at America’s battlefields and historic sites in honor of Memorial Day 2024

Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231

(Washington, D.C.) — In the years following the Civil War, Americans began dedicating a day each spring to remember friends and family members who lost their lives during the tragic conflict. What was initially known as Decoration Day has evolved into a tradition that encompasses all American wars; Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971. To honor the sacrifices made by our nation’s military, the American Battlefield Trust — a national nonprofit organization that preserves battlefields of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War — recommends the following events, volunteer opportunities and activities for Memorial Day weekend 2024. For more activities and destinations, visit the Trust’s online events page or check out calendars maintained by the National Park Service and state parks or museums near you. 

May 24-27: Memorial Day Weekend at the National Museum of the U.S. Army, Fort Belvoir, Va. 
With activities scheduled all weekend, the National Museum of the United States Army is ready to welcome museum visitors and help them create new memories and traditions that will honor the service and sacrifice of America’s soldiers. Activities — including a flag display, documentary screening, a remembrance service, crafts, a hands-on exploration of the equipment and uniforms American soldiers have donned throughout time, and more — are free with a general admission museum ticket. Learn more.  

May 25: Grand Opening of the Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 
Head to the public unveiling of The Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point, which signals the launch of the revived museum aboard the USS Yorktown. The renovation, sponsored by the National Medal of Honor Center for Leadership, will showcase the stories of our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients. See living history reenactors showcasing military life from the Civil War to the Vietnam War, learn from Medal of Honor recipients James C. McCloughan and Leroy A. Petry, enter a raffle, and look forward to special food offerings. Museum admission includes access to all of Patriots Point and the Medal of Honor Museum. Learn more. 

May 25: Flag Placement at Andersonville National Historic Site, Andersonville, Ga. 
Join this Peach State site for its annual Memorial Day observance at the national cemetery with the placement of the flags. Following, lunch will be provided by the Dixie Crows. Registration is required. Learn more. 

May 25: WWII Memorial 20th Anniversary Commemoration, Washington, D.C. and virtual 
Head to the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the unveiling of the World War II Memorial, and witness World War II veterans place wreaths at the Freedom Wall of the Memorial in remembrance of the more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during the conflict. In-person attendees must register, but the ceremony can also be viewed onlineLearn more. 

May 25-27: "The Last Full Measure of Devotion" — The Civil War Origins of Memorial Day, Baltimore, Md. 
Visit Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to learn about the Civil War origins of Memorial Day with programs led by park rangers. Discover how communities coped with the loss of their loved ones during the war, witness living history demonstrations, hear the roar of the drums as the Civil War quicksteps of the Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps echo across the parade ground, walk with a ranger to learn about Fort McHenry’s role in the Civil War, and help rangers raise the stars and stripes over the ramparts. Learn more. 

May 26: Service Stories in Slatersville, North Smithfield, R.I. 
Join Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park on Memorial Day weekend to explore the Slatersville Cemetery. With a park ranger as your guide, hear stories about the men of Rhode Island who served in the Civil War. Learn more. 

May 27: Memorial Day Commemoration Program at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Md. 
Commemorate Memorial Day at Antietam National Cemetery with a program including keynote speaker Brigadier General Ty Seidule, U.S. Army (Ret.), music from the Hagerstown Choral Arts and a cannon salute from Antietam National Battlefield's volunteer group, Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery. Learn more. 

May 27: Memorial Day Service at Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 
Remember those that gave the last full measure of devotion to their country at a site that was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Great Britain, Canada and the U.S. The annual event begins with a procession at 10:55 a.m., with the service on the Plaza immediately following at 11:00 a.m. Learn more. 

May 27: Memorial Day Commemoration at Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site, Mount Vernon, N.Y. 
Join this national historic site for their annual Memorial Day commemoration. Visitors can sit in for a brief ceremony in the church, take a guided tour, help in placing flowers and flags, hear stories of the veterans buried on the premises, tune in for a talk about the ethnic dimension and diversity of the American Revolution, and end the day with a presentation on the “Songs of the Civil War” with historian Robert Cohen. Learn more. 

Shiloh National Cemetery
David Duncan

May 27: Memorial Day Service in the Shiloh National Cemetery, Shiloh, Tenn. 
Head to the Shiloh National Cemetery with chairs and blankets for their annual Memorial Day service. With patriotic tunes, a special guest speaker, a wreath laying, firing salute and the playing of Taps, this program will ensure a heartfelt remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to the nation. Learn more. 

May 27: Memorial Day Ceremony, Fort Pierce, Fla. 
Join the Navy SEAL Museum at its Memorial Wall to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Hear from veteran and active-duty SEALs and honor the fallen through various traditions. Learn more. 

May 27: Memorial Day 2024 at Monocacy National Battlefield, Frederick, Md. 
Join Park Rangers at the battlefield visitor center for programming on the origin and lasting significance of Memorial Day. Learn more. 

May 27: National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, D.C. and on TV 
The U.S. capital’s Constitution Avenue will be abuzz this Memorial Day, as the story of American sacrifice is commemorated with special performances and appearances. The event is free to the public and will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW stations across the country. Learn more. 

June 6-9: 80th Anniversary of D-Day at Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg, Pa. 
Head to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Gettysburg farm to remember and honor the men and women who 80 years ago risked everything to make the world safe for democracy. Over a four-day period, the national historic site will host special programming on-site and in Gettysburg National Cemetery to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day liberation of Normandy. This year's commemoration will feature a special naturalization ceremony at Eisenhower National Site at 10 a.m. on June 6. Learn more.  

The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 58,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War across 155 sites in 25 states. Learn more at