Memorial Day ceremonies, tours planned at Shiloh

Daily Journal Reports

Tennessee state Rep. Dolores R. Gresham will present the principal address at this year’s Memorial Day observance, Shiloh National Military Park Superintendent Woody Harrell announced Thursday. The annual service, one of the oldest in West Tennessee, will begin in the Shiloh National Cemetery overlooking historic Pittsburg Landing at 11 a.m. May 28.

The public is invited to all the day’s events.

“As a retired lieutenant colonel of the United States Marine Corps, Rep. Gresham understands the dedication of the young men and women in the armed forces, and also can identify with the hardships and the life threatening situations that our servicemen and women face each day,” Harrell noted.

This year’s observance will be preceded at 10:30 a.m. by a program of patriotic music performed by the Savannah Dixieland Band. Other music and patiorica readings are planned.

Veterans Kenneth Roy Perkins, William Butler, and Col. Roger Hill (retired), will represent the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Prisoners of War and the Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion. The veterans will lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Directly after the ceremony, the park will host another memorial service at Automobile Tour Stop No. 5, location of one of the five known mass Confederate graves on the battlefield.

The program, “Spotlight on American Veterans,” is scheduled at the Shiloh Visitor Center, immediately after the memorial service at the National Cemetery. This one-hour activity will highlight the military experiences of World War II veteran, William Butler of Savannah, Tenn.

In addition to the Monday events, the park will host commemorative interpretive activities throughout the holiday weekend, starting May 26 and continue through the afternoon May 28.

Local members of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association will display antique military vehicles on the front lawn of the Visitor Center.

From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 26 and May 27, “living historians” will present programs on the front lawn of the Visitor Center. These costumed interpreters will interpret the many wars in which United States citizens have been involved, including the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Iraq War. These displays will include weapons and equipment, and the interpreters will answer questions the public may have about these wars.

There will be firing demonstrations of the weapons of the strikingly different shoulder firearms utilized during the different periods of warfare daily at 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. These demonstrations will provide the public with an understanding of the progression of firearms from the earlier wars to the present time.

Those planning to attend the Memorial Day services are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to provide comfortable seating during the ceremonies. For additional information on the schedule of activities being conducted at Shiloh National Military Park throughout the Memorial Day weekend, please call (731)-689-5696 to speak to a ranger.