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Contact: Stephanie Steinhorst, 229 924-0343, x. 203
Release Date: May 15, 2015
Contacts: Stephanie Steinhorst, Stephanie_Steinhorst@nps.gov, 229 924-0343, x. 203
Memorial Day Programs and Events at Andersonville
Col. Thomas Carden to speak at Andersonville Memorial Day Program
ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia – Memorial Day represents a time for the nation to pause, remember and honor the service of deceased veterans. For many Americans, the weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer and includes activities such as backyard barbeques or vacations to a lake or beach. For others, the weekend is a time for somber remembrance of family members and friends whose sacrifices are recognized by a grateful nation. Beginning with citizen gatherings nearly 150 years ago, Memorial Day is the most significant annual ceremony in Andersonville National Cemetery. Today, this patriotic holiday is observed by the National Park Service at Andersonville with a multi-day series of activities. This service is always traditionally held on Sunday, to allow veterans and families to participate in as many Memorial Day activities as they desire.
Colonel Thomas M. Carden, Assistant Adjutant General of the Georgia Army National Guard will be the featured speaker at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, 2015, at the annual Memorial Day Service in Andersonville National Cemetery.
Colonel Carden enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard as an infantryman in 1986. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in August 1989 after completing officer candidate school through the Georgia Military Institute. Carden commanded the 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and the Georgia Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion. He has also served as the Georgia Army National Guard deputy chief of staff for personnel, operations officer for the 122nd Rear Operations Center and as the executive officer for the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment. Additionally, Carden served as the operations officer for the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment. While serving in this capacity, he deployed to Bosnia, Herzegovina as part Operation Joint Forge. In 2005, Carden deployed to Iraq as the effects coordinator for the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Colonel Carden has connections to Sumter County, having graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus with a Bachelor of Science in History.
In preparation for the Sunday ceremony, on Friday, May 22, volunteers from the Robins Riders will raise the Avenue of Flags along the roadways within the cemetery. In the morning of Saturday, May 23, scouting groups and other volunteers from across the state of Georgia will remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces by decorating the nearly 20,000 gravesites within the cemetery with American flags. Volunteers also take down the flags Tuesday morning, following the end of the holiday.
Memorial Day activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, 2015, in Andersonville National Cemetery with instrumental music performed by the US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Band. The formal program will begin at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony will feature wreath presentations by several military, civic, and patriotic organizations, including the Friends of Andersonville.
“As this will be my first Memorial Day at Andersonville, I hope to share this wonderful event with the citizens who attend every year and encourage new families to join us in remembering the sacrifices of those men and women who have served their country,” remarked Superintendent Charles Sellars. Additional information about Memorial Day weekend at Andersonville can also be found at: http://go.nps.gov/memorialdayandersonville
Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles south of Oglethorpe, GA and 10 miles northeast of Americus, GA on Georgia Highway 49. The national park features the National Prisoner of War Museum, Andersonville National Cemetery and the site of the historic Civil War prison, Camp Sumter. Andersonville National Historic Site is the only national park within the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Park grounds are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with the museum open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924-0343, visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande/, or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/AndersonvilleNPS
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
Last updated: March 8, 2018