CATEGORY: Alcorn County
HED:Shiloh National Military Park to offer several Memorial Day events
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
SHILOH, Tenn. – Several events are planned Monday at Shiloh National Military Park in observance of Memorial Day and in honor of America’s veterans.
Located on the banks of the Tennessee River on a shady hillside in the park, the Shiloh National Cemetery contains the graves of 3,890 men and women who fell during the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Of that number, 2,359 are unknown.
The highlight of Monday’s observance will be at the National Cemetery at 11 a.m. with Selmer Mayor Jimmy Whittington giving the main address.
A half hour before the memorial services in the National Cemetery, the Savannah Dixieland Band will perform a selected program of patriotic music.
Cadets from the Hardin County Civil Air Patrol will provide a color guard for the ceremony.
“We are very pleased that Mayor Whittington has graciously accepted the invitation to speak on Memorial Day,” said Woody Harrell, park superintendent. “He possesses a broad range of experience and education and has received national recognition for his dedicated community service.”
A veteran of the United States Air Force from 1968-1972, Whittington served in a special operations detail at stations located both home and abroad. He is a graduate of Rhodes College with a bachelor of arts in political science with advance education in history at Old Dominion University and the University of William and Mary in Virginia. He has actively participated as a guest lecturer on American history, speaking at several Mid-South universities.
He holds the distinction of being the only trained and certified Municipal Incident Commander outside the state of California. This special training has permitted his active participation in numerous disaster relief operations and critical emergencies across the nation.
A tribute honoring Confederate dead will be at the Confederate Burial Trench. The 51st Tennessee Infantry, a Civil War living history organization, will host these services.
Retired Maj. Gen. George B. Pickett of Montgomery, Ala., will speak at the Confederate memorial site, the largest of five Confederate Burial Trenches located on the Shiloh battlefield.
Services will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of activities at the National Cemetery.
Rangers will be on hand to direct visitors and traffic.
The 23rd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry will provide a living history encampment and demonstrations at Rea Springs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Representatives of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of Union Veterans will present memorial wreaths at both the National Cemetery and the Confederate Burial Trench ceremonies.
“We hope to have a wonderful day of commemoration and education,” Harrell said. “Everyone is invited, however, those planning to attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to provide comfortable seating for each event.”
Park facilities including the visitor center, museum and bookstore will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.