Memorial Day Luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery

Memorial Day Luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery

Saturday in late May
Memorial Day Luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery was created to honor those "who have given their lives for their country." Each year on the Saturday closest to Memorial Day, hundreds of volunteers from the Commonwealth Girl Scout Council and the Boy Scouts of America set, light, and maintain candles on the graves of more than 15,300 U.S. soldiers who are buried in Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Graves receiving luminaria include thousands of those who died during the Civil War in addition to several hundred burials from other periods in American history.
The vigil, which was first held in 1996, runs from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm, and includes walking tours of the Marye's Heights gravesite and "Taps" performed each half hour. The cemetery remains open until all the luminarias have gone out. Between 3,000 and 6,000 visitors take part in this event each year.
CONTACTS:
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
120 Chatham Lane
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
540-654-5532; fax: 540-371-1907
www.nps.gov/frsp/index.htm
SOURCES:
PatHols-2006, p. 215
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