Flags will be placed on the 7,816 graves at the Alexandria National Cemetery at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 24, in preparation for Monday’s program. The Alexandria National Cemetery is located at 209 East Shamrock Street in Pineville.
On Monday, May 26, the Memorial Day Program at the National Cemetery will begin at 9:45 a.m. with a musical prelude. After the flag raising, the program will continue with speakers, placing of wreaths by various Veteran service organizations, a bagpipe musical selection, a patriotic reading, a rifle salute and the playing of taps. Guest speaker for the 2014 observance will be The Honorable Chris Hazel, State Representative for Louisiana District 27. Representative Hazel is a Marine Veteran.
Some seating will be available, but you are welcome to bring your lawn chairs. In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be held at the Alexandria VA Medical Center’s Auditorium, Building 8, located at 2495 Shreveport Highway, Pineville.
In addition to the formal ceremonies planned across the nation, all Americans are asked to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance by pausing wherever they are at 3:00 pm on Monday, May 26, and taking a moment to remember and honor those men and women who died in service to our country. Congress established this National Moment of Remembrance to put the “memorial” back in Memorial Day and to reclaim its original purpose of honoring America’s fallen heroes.
The time was chosen because mid-afternoon is when many Americans are enjoying the freedoms ensured by those who fought to preserve them. The one-minute pause in activities at 3:00 p.m. local time is not intended to replace Memorial Day ceremonies, but to highlight the purpose of Memorial Day and to reflect on the sacrifice of those who died for our freedom.
For more information on Memorial Day activities, call the Alexandria VA Medical Center, Voluntary Services, at (318) 466-2540.