While festivities at Corinth National Cemetery won’t be held again this year due to the pandemic, Shiloh National Military Park plans to host near-normal events for Memorial Day.
VA National Cemetery Director Amanda Rhodes-Wharton said a public ceremony and placement of flags at gravesites would not be held on Monday, May 31 at the Corinth cemetery. She said the cemetery would be open from dusk to dark and a short media-only event would include the playing of Taps and a wreath-laying ceremony.
“While we cannot hold a large Memorial Day program as was typical in years past (before the pandemic), we will still honor veterans and service members with the dignity and respect they have earned through their service and sacrifice,” said Rhodes-Wharton.
Up the road in Shiloh, Tenn. the longest-running Memorial Day event is set to return after last year’s ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic.
Set for 11 a.m. on Monday, May 31, community members are encouraged to attend the service of music, patriotic salutes, the laying of a wreath on the grave of an unknown soldier and a keynote speaker talk.
Cannon firing is also scheduled leading up to the holiday.
“Memorial Day is a day for remembering all the people who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces,” said Superintendent Allen Etheridge. “We are pleased to once again be able to invite everyone to commemorate our fallen heroes.”
The keynote speaker is retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Parker Hills of Clinton who has served almost 32 years in uniform. He owns Battle Focus, a leadership training company that trains soldiers, Marines, airmen, tourists and corporate leaders. He is also the author of “A Study in Warfighting: Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads.”
Rangers will lead programs on the battlefield following the service.
The park will host cannon firing demonstrations by park volunteers dressed in period uniforms on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30.
The Shiloh Cannon Crew will be firing a reproduction 6-pounder Field Piece and introducing visitors to the proper drill ammunition, and equipment used by Civil War artillerists. On Saturday there will be five demonstrations at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. On Sunday, there will be four demonstrations at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Each demonstration will last approximately 20-minutes and include two cannon firings.
Face coverings are required for un-vaccinated persons while inside park buildings or spaces where social distancing cannot be achieved.
For more information, visit nps.gov/shil or contact the visitor center at 731-689-5696.