News Release

National Mall Takes Memorial Day Ceremonies Online

Field of Gold Stars at World War II Memorial

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News Release Date: May 21, 2020

Contact: Mike Litterst, 202-306-4166

Washington – Even though traditional Memorial Day ceremonies and events on the National Mall will not take place this year due to the ongoing safeguards against the coronavirus pandemic, the National Park Service and its partners at the various veterans’ and service memorials will still honor those who gave their lives in defense of the country through virtual and online programming.

“Memorial Day is a time we normally gather at the memorials to lay a wreath in honor of the fallen, remember their heroic deeds, and draw inspiration from their sacrifice,” said Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks. “While we may not be able to gather together in the manner in which we are accustomed, we will still ensure those who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our country are appropriately honored and remembered on Memorial Day.”

Previously scheduled wreath laying ceremonies will take place virtually. Pre-recorded ceremonies will be posted to the Facebook pages of partner organizations on Monday, May 25 and shared on the National Park Service Facebook page (@NationalMallNPS):
  • World War II Memorial – posted at 9 a.m. on the Friends of the National World War II Memorial Facebook page (@WWIIMemorialFriends)
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial – posted at 10 a.m. on the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation Facebook page (@KWVMFUSA)
  • Navy Memorial – posted at 1 p.m. on the U.S Navy Memorial Facebook page (@NavyMemorial)
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial – posted at 1 p.m. on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Facebook page (@VietnamVeteransMemorialFund)
Additionally, while it will not originate from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, as is tradition, the National Memorial Day Concert will be broadcast on PBS on Sunday, May 24 from 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The special will include new performances and tributes filmed in different locations around the country and iconic stories from past concerts to honor our troops, veterans, wounded warriors, all those who have given their lives for our nation, and their families. The concert will also be live streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and the National Memorial Day Concert website (

All outdoor memorials on the National Mall, including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and World War II Memorial are accessible, though with limited access and parking. However, with anticipated crowds for the Memorial Day weekend, the National Park Service is implementing one-way traffic patterns at these and other memorials to facilitate proper distancing in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. All sites will be monitored throughout the weekend and are subject to temporary closures if crowds grow too large to effectively distance themselves.

Visitors are reminded that while the outdoor memorials on the National Mall remain safely accessible for close-to-home activities permissible under the District’s Stay at Home order, visitor services and parking remain limited. Visitors should research current park conditions in advance at, maintain distance between people outside their household, and take home everything they brought with them to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.

Last updated: May 21, 2020

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