News Release

2024 Memorial Day Commemoration

Ty Seidule

Nancy L Ford

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News Release Date: May 3, 2024

Contact: Ranger Keith Snyder, 301 432-5124

The National Park Service (NPS) will commemorate Memorial Day at Antietam National Battlefield on May 27th at 11 a.m. The program will take place at Antietam National Cemetery, located on Route 34, just east of Sharpsburg.

This year’s program includes keynote speaker Brigadier General Ty Seidule, U.S. Army (Retired). Gen. Seidule is Professor Emeritus of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point and is now a Visiting Professor of History at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. Over the course of his 36-year army career, Ty served as an armor and cavalry officer in command and staff positions in war and peace all over the world, including in Germany, Italy, the Balkans, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kenya. His latest book is Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause. Ty serves as a Presidential Advisor to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans as well as an International Security Fellow at New America. 

The program will also include music from the Hagerstown Choral Arts and a cannon salute from Antietam National Battlefield's volunteer group, Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery. Master Sergeant Geoff Blankenship and Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) Ron Glazer of the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, WV, will perform “Taps.”  

The Town of Sharpsburg will commemorate Memorial Day on Saturday, May 25, with a ceremony on the town square at 11 a.m. and the annual Memorial Day Parade starting at 2:00 p.m. In keeping with a wonderful tradition, the Sharpsburg Elementary School 5th grade class will place 5,000 flags at the National Cemetery, one for every headstone, on May 23, in preparation for the holiday.   

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. On May 5, 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, Major General John A. Logan, head of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of United States veterans of the Civil War, established the day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war while serving in the U.S. armed forces with flowers. Ever since 1868, this day of remembrance has been commemorated across the country and in 1971 Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday. 

Last updated: May 3, 2024

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