Monday, May 20, 2013
2013 marks the 5th anniversary of a very special program commemorating Memorial Day at Monocacy National Battlefield. Over the holiday weekend the battlefield hosts a memorial flag display in honor of those soldiers who fell during the Battle of Monocacy. Rangers present programs on the history of Memorial Day, which grew out of local observances to honor the great sacrifice made by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
Ranger Barbara Justice started the “Last Full Measure of Devotion” program in 2009. That year volunteers placed 550 Union and Confederate flags in the field beside the visitor center. Each flag represented four Union or Confederate soldiers, causalities of the July 9, 1864 battle. The Battle of Monocacy, while not a large battle, was a hard fought one. Although victorious, the Confederates lost roughly 900 men killed, wounded, and missing. When the Union army retreated they left behind nearly 1,300 men killed, wounded, missing, and captured. The loss of these fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons devastated families, changing them forever. The goal of Monocacy’s Memorial Day program has been to create a stunning visual reminder of the true human cost of the battle, and this goal will be fully achieved for the first time in 2013. Volunteers will place 2,200 flags, one for each Union and Confederate soldier who fell in the day-long battle.
Ranger programs will be presented on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. On Memorial Day, May 27, the park will pause for one minute of silence followed by the playing of taps by volunteer musicians to pay tribute to the men and women who have died in service to our country.
For more information, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov.mono or call the visitor center at 301-662-3515