National Cemetery (Part 6) – Luminaria 2017

This last Saturday, I volunteered to assist again with the illumination of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery program. This was the 22nd annual Luminaria program of the National Park Service (NPS) conducted by the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park unit. It was a fitting end to my five part series on the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. On the same evening, a similar remembrance ceremony was held at Fredericksburg’s Confederate Cemetery. This remembrance was sponsored by Fredericksburg Ladies’ Memorial Association, honoring the more than 3,550 Southern soldiers interred there.

Below are a few photos taken the evening of May 27th. In all, there were seven stations for visitors to pass through during the evening of reflection and remembrance of the men. Taps was sounded between 8 PM and 11 PM every half hour. The programs presented at each station highlighted soldiers who were killed at the battles of the Civil War, 150 years ago. They also highlighted one individual who was killed during WWI. Despite one short rain shower, visitors could stay as long as they liked on this special night. Almost 5,500 visitors were in attendance during the evening.

Nat-Cem-prep---web

Late afternoon preparation for the 2017 National Park Service (NPS) 22nd annual Luminaria program at Fredericksburg National Cemetery. A group of NPS rangers, interns and volunteers are seen at the right center while local community volunteers light the candles in the background.

 

Confed-Cem---web

2017 Luminaria preparation at the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery. This event was sponsored by the Fredericksburg Ladies’ Memorial Association.

 

J-Pierce-Flowers---web

Flowers for Jerome Pierce. These are placed annually by the decedents of Andrew Birdsall, an early superintendent of the cemetery at the request and funding of Jerome’s widow Albinia (“Allie”) and a four-year-old daughter named Lucy. With the flowers is a note that reads: “Once lost, now found, never forgotten.” (see my previous post for more information).

 

NatCem-lighting---web

2017 Luminaria preparation at Fredericksburg National Cemetery on Saturday May 27th. Local volunteers are lighting the candles in the background.

 

Nat-Cem-at-night---web

2017 Luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery. View is the same as the above photograph.

 

On a future Memorial Day, I will select another cemetery associated with the Civil War. But for now, we remember.

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About Peter Glyer

I am retired with a lifelong interest in history, primarily the Civil War and WWII - Europe. I was an Army engineer, hence my interest in terrain. I graduated with a degree in City and Regional Planning and a Masters in International Relations.
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