Last Updated: Apr 27th, 2015 - 11:04:56

Memorial Day events
May 25, 2014, 10:52

Memorial Day in Hopewell

The annual Memorial Day Ceremony in Hopewell hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 637 will be held at City Point National Cemetery at 11 a.m.

Brig. Gen. John E. O’Neil, Quartermaster General and Commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, will be the keynote speaker. The band also will perform and the color guard will open the event.

Memorial Day ceremony in Colonial Heights

Colonial Heights will host a Memorial Day ceremony May 26. The Memorial Day Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will last approximately 45 minutes. It will be presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2239. It will take place at the War Memorial on the Boulevard between Lee and Lafayette avenues.

Memorial Day ceremony in Prince George County

The annual Memorial Day Observance in Prince George will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, May 26, on the lawn of the Prince George Heritage Center. Special guests will include family members of the fallen. The speaker will be General John Sullivan, Chief of Transportation and Commandant of the Transportation School, United States Army. The observance will conclude with a reading of the names of the war dead, placement of wreaths at each monument on the center lawn, and the opening of the first phase exhibit from the War Memorial Project at the Center. The center is located at 6406 Courthouse Road in Prince George. For information, call 804-863-0212 or email

National Park Service events at three Tri-City locations

By telegraph and letter, by railroad and newspapers, word of Virginia’s deadly spring reverberated across America. The loss of men in Virginia constituted a deep wound to communities near and far: Bangor in Maine, Natchez in Mississippi, Dearborn, Litchfield, Charleston, Wilmington. These places and hundreds more reckoned with the loss of men who would never come home—most of them buried today as unknowns on Virginia’s fields. Each death challenged the fortitude of a family, the fabric of a community, the will of a nation.

On Memorial Day weekend 2014, the National Park Service will join with a few representative communities across America to remember the struggle of those days of 1864. They will remember not just on the battlefields themselves, but in the communities that received the doleful news of that spring. The struggle of everyday Americans against loss, deprivation, and discouragement helped determine that fate of our Nation in 1864. Reverberations will once again reconnect American communities to the fields where their sons often gave all, and recognize a great and oft-forgotten struggle touched with both virtue and pain.

Interred in cemeteries throughout Southside Virginia are the remains of soldiers who never made it home. Some soldiers remains were never even identified leaving their families with questions that would never be answered. These soldiers and their families will be the focus of Reverberations programs occurring at the cemeteries listed below.

• Poplar Grove National Cemetery, 8005 Vaughan Road, Petersburg (Dinwiddie) - 8 to 9 p.m. Contact: Ranger Betsy Dinger at (804) 732-3531 ext. 208 for details.

• Blandford Church, 319 S. Crater Road, Petersburg - 8:30 to 9 p.m. Program will provide brief histories of Blandford Church, the Siege of Petersburg, and Memorial Day. Selected accounts of sacrifices made by Confederate soldiers buried at the cemetery will be told. Candle lighting, with audience participation, honoring all Confederate soldiers buried at Blandford will follow. Contact: Ranger Tracy Chernault, (804) 732-3531 ext. 218.

• City Point National Cemetery, 10th Avenue and Davis Street, Hopewell - 8:15 to 9 p.m. This program will honor Union soldiers buried at City Point National Cemetery and will include the playing of Taps and a hand-held luminary ceremony. Contact: Ranger Randy Watkins, (804) 732-3531 ext. 205.

Richmond National Battlefield Park event

Richmond National Battlefield Park, in cooperation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, is sponsoring a Memorial Day program and wreath-laying to honor and remember those who have died in our nation’s service—especially those soldiers and sailors from the Civil War. This annual event is scheduled for Monday, May 26, at noon at the Fort Harrison National Cemetery, on the Fort Harrison battlefield. The cemetery is located at 8620 Varina Road, two miles south of Route 5 and eight miles south of Richmond. More than 800 Civil War soldiers are buried at the Fort Harrison National Cemetery.

Maj. Gen. Donald R. Gardner, USMC (retired), will speak at the cemetery. Gardner’s Marine Corps career began in 1955 and extended to 1994. Assignments as Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force; Commanding General 3rd Marine Division; and Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, are among the many highlights of his service to the country.

Gardner’s talk is a part of the national park’s continuing commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in the Richmond area. This spring marks the 150th anniversary of the Overland Campaign around Richmond, and the park’s events span May 23 through June 14.

The public is invited to attend this free event.

The park will also be commemorating Memorial Day weekend with a special program at Cold Harbor on Saturday, May 24, as part of the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Overland Campaign. More information about that program can be found online on the park’s website:

The Fort Harrison battlefield is one of the 13 sites protected by Richmond National Battlefield Park where key Civil War battles took place in 1862 and 1864. The park also hosts five visitor centers and a driving tour of the battlefields along an 80-mile route through Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties. A full day is required to experience the entire battlefield park. The main park visitor center is located at Historic Tredegar (470 Tredegar Street in Richmond) and provides museum exhibits, audio-visual programs, and orientation services to help plan a visit to the battlefields. For additional information, contact Richmond National Battlefield Park at 804-226-1981, or via the internet at or

Virginia War Memorial

Linden Dixon, Commander of the American Legion Department of Virginia will deliver the keynote address at the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 26, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

The ceremony, co-hosted with American Legion 11th District, will be held at 10 a.m. in the E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheater and the Shrine of Memory on the War Memorial grounds.

The public is invited to attend to honor and remember family members, friends and fellow citizens who have given the ultimate sacrifice in military service to our Nation.

This event marks the 58th annual Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony to be held at the Virginia War Memorial.

The ceremony will include special recognition of the six Virginia men and women who have lost their lives in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism since Memorial Day 2013. Each of their names will be read by Col. Terrence W. Singleton of the 80th Training Command, United States Army Reserve as the ship’s bell from the USS Virginia tolls.

Those to be remembered are Specialist Kyle B. Stockli, Moseley; Sergeant Justin R. Johnson, Newport News; Staff Sergeant Eric T. Lawson, Sr., Newport News; Sergeant Caryn Reynal Nouv, Newport News; Master Sergeant George A. Bannar Jr., Orange; and Staff Sergeant, Lyle D. Turnbull, Norfolk.

Following patriotic music played by the 392nd Army Band, the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony will be called to order by Rick Oertel, past commander, American Legion 11th District. Sam Ukrop, a World War II veteran and member of the Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation Veterans Advisory Council, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and Cynthia Murray will sing the National Anthem. The Honorable John M. O’Bannon III, chairman of the Virginia War Memorial Board, will welcome attendees.

Prayers will be offered by Dr. Carroll Londoner, chaplain, American Legion 11th District, and Harry Simmons, chaplain, McGuire VA Medical Center. The ceremony will move from the Heilman Amphitheater to the Shrine of Memory for the presentation of memorial wreathes accompanied by music by the St. Andrew’s Legion Pipes and Drums.

Ceremonies will conclude with a rifle salute by the American Legion Memorial Rifles and the playing of TAPS by John Blair and Dr. Tommy South of Bugles Across America.

The Virginia War Memorial located at 621 South Belvidere Street, will be open extended hours from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on May 25 and May 26. Admission is free. Parking is available in the Memorial lot, at the Virginia Housing and Development Authority lot next door and at the Afton Chemical Corporation lot on Spring Street.

The public is also invited to enjoy at free concert of patriotic music presented by the Thomas Jefferson High School Corps of Cadets Alumni Band at 2 p.m. and to tour the exhibits in the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center all day.

For more information, call 804-786-2060 or visit

Full day at Pamplin Park

Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Dinwiddie will be open Memorial Day with a full schedule of daily programs. The Park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with ongoing costumed interpretation at Tudor Hall and the Military Encampment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The highlight of the day’s programming begins at 1 p.m.

Program Schedule for Monday, May 26, 2014:

• 10:30 to 10:50 a.m.: Rifle Demonstration at The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier Demonstration Area

• 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.: Plantation Tour

Noon to 12:50 p.m.: Civil War Combat Film. Viewer discretion advised.

• 1 to 1:30 p.m.: Memorial Day Commemoration: Color Guard, Fife, Drum and Bugle; A Remembrance of Those Who Died Upon This Ground on April 2, 1865.

• 1:30 to 1:35 p.m.: Artillery Firing and the Playing of Taps; Costumed Ladies Pass out Flowers

• 2 to 2:20 p.m.: Music Demonstration: Military Encampment

• 2:30 to 2:50 p.m.: Rifle Demonstration: Military Encampment

• 3:15 to 4 p.m.: Breakthrough Battlefield Tour

• 3:30 to 4:20 p.m.: Civil War Combat Film. Viewer discretion advised.

Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 424-acre Civil War campus located in Dinwiddie County, Virginia offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences. The Park has four museums and four antebellum homes. The Park is also the site of The Breakthrough Battlefield of April 2, 1865, and America’s premiere participatory experience, Civil War Adventure Camp. For more information, call 804-861-2408 or visit

The Wall That Heals exhibit arrives this week

Each year, millions of people travel to Washington, D.C., to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which honors the millions who served their country during the Vietnam War. Tens of thousands gave their lives during the many years of conflict and their names are etched into the black granite.

Yet many people haven’t been able to make the journey to our nation’s capital.

But coming in May, a replica of the wall will be coming to Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights to allow area residents to honor the fallen and reflect on the service of the millions of Americans.

“The Wall That Heals” exhibit features a 250-foot replica of the original memorial and travels across America.

The exhibit is coming to the Southpark Mall parking lot between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Regal Cinemas from 9 a.m. May 29 through 9 p.m. June 1. It is open 24 hours a day and there is no charge for admission.

“The Wall That Heals transcends the Vietnam War to help our great nation renew its relationship with veterans of all wars,” said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “It helps veterans from all of America’s conflicts to find healing and a powerful connection through their common military experiences.”

Since its inception in 1996, over 2 million people have visited the Memorial Fund’s traveling exhibit. It has made stops in nearly 250 U.S. locales in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005.

Each of the aluminum replica’s two wings is approximately 123 feet long and meets at an angle of 121 degrees, rising to a height of approximately five feet at its apex.

Each name is laser etched into panels of reflective black, powder-coated heavy aluminum supported by a structural aluminum frame.

A database of names and their precise arrangement on The Wall was created to engrave the panels. The database was then linked to a computer-operated laser system developed solely for the purpose of engraving The Wall That Heals . The system etched image areas of a specific size, requiring remarkably precise calibration across a wide field to match partially formed letters and lines.

The names on The Wall That Heals replicate the names on The Wall in Washington, D.C. As on The Wall, the names are listed alphabetically by day of casualty.

Beginning at the center/apex, the names start on the East Wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex. Thus, the beginning and ending of the conflict are joined at the center, signifying an epoch in American history.

The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community by a 53-foot, fifth-wheel trailer with cases built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a museum that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history.

The exhibition is sponsored by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Trust, Federal Express, Geico, AON Corporation, and New Century Transportation.

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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