Public Memorial Day Events Return to VA National Cemeteries

Public Memorial Day Events Return to VA National Cemeteries
A local Cub Scout places a flag at a grave in Bakersfield National Cemetery, Calif., as part of Memorial Day events in 2018. (Photo by Christopher Okula/Air Force)

More than 120 VA national cemeteries will host public Memorial Day events this weekend, the first such ceremonies since 2019.


A full list of ceremonies is available at this link. Events were set for cemeteries in 42 states and Puerto Rico as of May 24.


Visitors are encouraged to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for their local event, according to a VA press release. All 155 VA national cemeteries will be open dawn to dusk on Memorial Day.


“There is no more fitting place to reflect upon the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans and service members than in a national cemetery,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in the release. “Here lie those who served, sacrificed and — in many cases — gave their lives for us and our country. We are forever in their debt.”


McDonough will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the New Hampshire State Veterans Ceremony on Memorial Day, according to the release.


[RELATED: Arlington Cemetery Update: Bill Would Fix Unjust Changes, But It Needs Support]


Wreath-laying ceremonies were closed to the public in 2020 and 2021, with event video streamed live online or recorded for later posting. Many events will be made available in similar fashion this year via the National Cemetery Administration’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


In addition to its traditional Memorial Day events, Arlington National Cemetery will host its first-ever Flowers of Remembrance Day on May 28 at the Tomb of the Unknowns, where visitors can place flowers from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. More details are available at this link.


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Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley