News Release

Memorial Day Programs and Events at Andersonville 2016

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Date: May 20, 2016
Contact: Jody Mays, 229-924-0343 ext. 115

Release Date: May 20, 2016
Contacts:  Jody Mays,, 229-924-0343, ext. 115


Memorial Day Programs and Events at Andersonville

Lt. Col. Kent Morrison to speak at Andersonville Memorial Day Program

ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia – In April 1866, a group of ladies in Columbus, Georgia announced plans to decorate the graves of soldiers killed in the Civil War with flowers each year. They asked ladies groups across the south to join them in honoring the fallen. What began as a southern tradition was adopted by states across the nation in 1868 and became Memorial Day.


Andersonville National Historic Site will commemorate this patriotic holiday with a multi-day series of activities taking place in Andersonville National Cemetery. Lieutenant Colonel Kent Morrison USMC (Ret) will be our featured speaker at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, 2016, at the annual Memorial Day Service held at Andersonville National Cemetery.


A native of Americus, Georgia, Lt. Col. Morrison’s military career spans more than 20 years and includes service onboard the USS John F. Kennedy, two deployments to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and service with the U.S. Central Command’s Joint Operations Center. He is currently the Executive Director at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia.


Memorial Day commemoration activities at Andersonville National Historic Site begin on Friday, May 27. Volunteers from Robins Riders will raise the Avenue of Flags, lining the cemetery roads with hundreds of full-sized American flags. On Saturday, May 28, scouting groups and other volunteers will honor the sacrifices of our fallen Armed Forces by decorating the nearly 21,000 gravesites in the cemetery with American flags. Volunteers will tend the flags over the weekend then remove them on Tuesday, after the holiday.


Our Memorial Day Observance ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 29, 2016. The U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Band will perform beginning at 1:30 p.m. and the formal program will begin at 2:00 p.m. Congressman Sanford Bishop will introduce our featured speaker. The ceremony will feature wreath presentations by several military, civic, and patriotic organizations, including the Friends of Andersonville. On Monday, the Knights of Columbus will hold a special mass in the cemetery.


“This year’s Memorial Day observance at Andersonville National Historic Site holds special significance,” Superintendent Charles Sellars noted. “It offers an opportunity to recognize the convergence of three remarkable and unique milestones.”


“Fifty years ago, in 1966, the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam War. Many Vietnam veterans rest here among the honored dead at Andersonville National Cemetery, and it is our privilege to care for this site. This site is one of only two active national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service, which was established one hundred years ago, in 1916. And one hundred fifty years ago, in 1866, a group of ladies from nearby Columbus, Georgia began the tradition of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers that we are here to continue today as Memorial Day. We hope you will join us in recognizing these three milestones and in paying tribute to the American men and women of our military who suffered and died for our great nation.”


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, or find us on Facebook at


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


Last updated: March 8, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Andersonville National Cemetery
National Prisoner of War Museum
496 Cemetery Road

Andersonville, GA 31711


(229) 924-0343

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