• North HillSide Photomerge


    National Historic Site Georgia

Memorial Day Observance

A flag appears in the foreground before a monument with a grieving woman figure surrounded by headstones.

The Iowa monument and surrounding graves on Memorial Day.

NPS/Alan Marsh

Memorial Day has long been the most important day of the park's event calendar, with preparations beginning months in advance, leading up to a week's worth of activity involving staff, partners, volunteers, and the American public.

Join us to remember, or participate by volunteering in the Flag Program, or as a Cemetery Warden. Contact us to ask how you can help.

Each year the park hosts a series of activities to commemorate the Memorial Day Holiday. Learn more about previous speakers at the Memorial Day Service.

On the Friday before the holiday, the Avenue of Flags is raised in the National Cemetery by volunteers. Throughout the weekend, volunteers honor our veterans by participating in the Flag Program. Saturday morning, volunteers including scout and youth groups from across the state, place flags throughout Andersonville National Cemetery. During the weekend volunteer Cemetery Wardens also assist with maintaining the gravesite flags and interacting with visitors to the cemetery. On Tuesday, following Memorial Day, the flags are removed by volunteers.

The focal point of all these activities is the Sunday afternoon Memorial Day ceremony which takes place at the National Cemetery rostrum. The service traditionally includes a musical program, speaker, and the placement of memorial wreaths.

2014 Memorial Day Weekend Schedule

The National Cemetery is open for visitors throughout the weekend, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Friday, 23 May: Avenue of Flags raised in the National Cemetery

Saturday, 24 May: Placement of flags at grave sites

Sunday, 25 May: 2:00 p.m. Memorial Day Observance Program.
Information for organizations interested in presenting a wreath during the formal program. [PDF File]

Monday, 26 May, Memorial Day

Tuesday, 27 May: Removal of flags from grave sites

Did You Know?

Historic drawing of a steamboat explosion

The Sultana was a steamboat on the Mississippi River that sunk on April 27, 1865, after its steam boiler exploded. Of the 2,400 passengers on board, an estimated 1,600 were killed. A majority of the passengers, a little over 2,000, were Union soldiers many of whom had survived Andersonville prison and were returning home. Most of these men had survived the horrors of Andersonville only to be lost in what became the greatest maritime disaster in the history of the United States.