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Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine Puts the Memorial Quality Into Memorial Day.

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May 30, 2016

"Find Your Park"– with a visit on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 to the National Park Service's Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine and to Loudon Park National Cemetery in Baltimore.

The National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress on December 28, 2000, and today through local partnerships, the National Moment of Remembrance Commission encourages all Americans to celebrate Memorial Day as a sacred and noble holiday that honors fellow Americans who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

Decoration Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran organization, and was first observed on May 30, 1868. Late May was chosen due to the weather that flowers were plentiful at that time of year. 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.

Monday, May 30. 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 Cemetery 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. Join National Park Service rangers from Fort McHenry who will team up with 29th Division veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam for a 30-minute Memorial Day service involving music, musket salute, and wreath-laying. Did you know that Loudon Park National Cemetery was one of the first 14 National Cemeteries in the U.S. designated in 1862 during the Civil War?


Fort McHenry on Memorial Day (May 30):

9:30 a.m. Inside the Star Fort National Park Service rangers will give a special talk on the origin of Memorial Day and hoist a Civil War era replica flag to half-staff in honor of the day.

11:30 a.m. Baltimore Author Dan Toomey, dressed as a Civil War Union Veteran, will give an engaging presentation highlighting the origins of Memorial Day followed by a flag-raising ceremony in the Star Fort. Flag will be changed from half-staff to full-mast. A large 30 x 42-foot replica of the Star-Spangled Banner will be hoisted (weather permitting) followed by a wreath-laying.

2:00 p.m. Baltimore Author Dan Toomey will again give an engaging presentation highlighting the origins of Memorial Day from ceremonies honoring those killed during the American Civil War. Discover why Marylanders commemorate two Memorial Day observances!

2:30 p.m. – Recreation of Historic 1880 Memorial Day observance includes a speech delivered at Fort McHenry's cemetery, Oliver Wendell Holmes' historic Memorial Day address, and talk on origin of the holiday. Bugler will play "Taps "at 3:00 p.m. and a wreath-laying as part of The National Moment of Remembrance.

Park Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Star Fort: 9 a.m. to 4:45 P.M. daily

Admission to Star Fort: $10 per adult (Children 15 years and under are free). Grounds are free. National Park Passes are honored here.

Facilities: Free Parking, Restrooms, Water Fountain, Visitor Center Exhibits, Picnic Tables, and introductory movie.

Event Details

Event Category
  • Find Your Park
  • History
General Information
  • Admission: Admission to Star Fort: $10 per adult (Children 15 years and under are free). Grounds are free. National Park Passes are honored here.


Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine / Loudon Park National Cemetery
2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
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