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On Monday, May 29, 2017 at 11:00 am, Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be the site of its annual memorial service, hosted by the National Park Service and the Stewart County Veterans Affairs Office, with participation by Post 72 of the American Legion, Department of Tennessee, other veteran organizations, and local civic and scout groups. “The event, as it is every year, is truly a collaborative effort between the National Park Service, the Stewart County Veterans Affairs Office, and numerous partners and representatives, including Veterans of Foreign Wars 4730, all coming together to honor and say ‘thank you,’” shared park Superintendent Brian McCutchen.
Guest speaker for the ceremony will be Stepanie L. Dostie, of the Eagles Chapter, Gold Star Wives of America. Mrs. Dostie’s husband, SFC US Army Shawn Dostie, gave his life in the service of our nation in December of 2005, while on deployment in Iraq. "We invite everyone to join us as we remember the millions of service men and women who have honorably served and died in the defense of our nation," added McCutchen.
Because of Memorial Day occurring in late May, and the national cemetery having minimal shade, those attending are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring bottled water, and, as seating is not provided, consider bringing a lawn chair or blanket.
PRE-MEMORIAL DAY EVENTS
Commemorative events will take place in the days leading up to Memorial Day.
On Thursday, May 25, each grave marker of the Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be decorated with a United States flag. According to Park Ranger Deborah Austin, “Area Girl Scouts will honor veterans buried in the Fort Donelson National Cemetery as they place a flag at the base of every grave, thanking each of them for their sacrifice.”
The public is encouraged to join national park staff and patrons at the Fort Donelson National Cemetery on Sunday, May 28, at 7:00 pm, to enjoy the wonderful and patriotic music of the 101st Airborne Brass Quintet Band. This noted group will perform on the lawn of the national cemetery.
“Lastly, for those wishing to add a wonderful event to their calendar,” McCutchen added, “Join us at 2:00 pm, Saturday, June 24, as United States veterans will be honored via patriotic music, as the Cumberland Winds Concert Band performs. This noted orchestra is largely a tradition at Fort Donelson,” he concluded. The Cumberland Winds will be performing at the Stewart County Visitor Center, located at 117 Visitor Center Drive, Dover.
Any location changes will be posted on www.nps.gov/fodo or www.facebook.com/fortdonelsonnps