Fort McHenry Rangers put the “memorial” quality back into Memorial Day!

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Date: April 26, 2012
Contact: Vince Vaise, 410-962-4290

Memorial Day at Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry Rangers and Fife and Drum Corps to honor the fallen at three historic cemeteries and with special programs at the fort!

Saturday, May 26. 2:00 Old Saint Paul's (Baltimore City) Visit the final resting place of Major George Armistead, commander of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and General Lewis Armistead of Civil War fame. Ceremony includes a musket-firing salute, wreath-laying, War of 1812 living history and a brief tour of the cemetery.

Sunday, May 27. 2:00 Mount Auburn Cemetery (2630 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore MD) Baltimore's oldest Afrcian-American cemetery. Honor the graves of African-American veterans from the Civil War, World War I, World War II and Korea. Ceremony involves a short parade, historic speeches, grave decorating with flowers and flags followed by a community picnic.

Monday, May 28. 9:00 a.m. Loudon Park National Cemetery (3445 Frederick Road, Baltimore, MD) Once, the center of Memorial Day commemorations in Baltimore, Loudon Park National contains thousands of Union Soldiers' graves from the Civil War -including hundreds of U.S. Colored Troops (African-American Union soldiers) and four Medal of Honor recipients. Program will recreate an early Memorial Day service.

Fort McHenry - ALL WEEKEND

An exciting weekend at Fort McHenry with living history, special flag programs, a Junior Ranger sheet about the meaning of Memorial Day, Ranger talks on the origin of the holiday and music performances.

May 28 - Memorial Day (Observed) at Fort McHenry:

11:00 Join the staff for a special reading of popular Memorial Day poems such as "Bivouac of the Dead" and "Flanders' Fields" at The reading will be followed by a brief discussion of Memorial Day traditions.
At noon the colors will be hoisted to full mast. Afterward, a living history presentation will recreate a traditional Memorial Day speech and ceremony given in the fort in the 1880s.

The highlight of the Memorial Day observance at Fort McHenry will be the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m. by the flagpole. A Ranger-led talk on the origins of Memorial Day will begin at 2:45 p.m. A park-wide moment of silence at 3:00 p.m.

In the Visitor Center:

Throughout the day visitors will be able to view a continuously running video about the history of Memorial Day. A special display focusing on the Civil War origins of the holiday will be on exhibit. Special fliers, Memorial Day literature and "Buddy Poppies" to support Veterans will also be available.

Decoration Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, and was first observed on May 30, 1868. Late May was chosen because Civil War ended that month and flowers were plentiful at that time of year. During the first year over 200 cities and towns held parades to the cemetery and other ceremonies, a year later, 1869 nearly 350 towns had celebrations. By the 1880s the holiday was commemorated in nearly every city and small town throughout the north. In 1882 the name Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day as commemorations expanded beyond the laying of flowers over soldiers' graves.

The National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress on December 28, 2000, to honor Americans who died in service to the nation. Through partnerships with local communities, private businesses, and government at all levels, the National Moment of Remembrance Commission is working to encourage all Americans to celebrate Memorial Day as a sacred and noble holiday that honors fellow Americans who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230


410 962-4290 x250

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