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April 10, 2009

CW's Memorial Day ceremony remembers America's fallen veterans

Colonial Williamsburg will remember those who died while serving their country during the Memorial Day Commemorative Program beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, May 25 in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area. Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums will lead a procession to three sites – the Governor’s Palace, Bruton Parish Church and Providence Hall.

The 45-minute Memorial Day service begins in front of the Governor’s Palace, which served as a Continental Army field hospital during the 1781 siege of Yorktown. Here participants will recognize the graves of Revolutionary War dead. A memorial wreath will be placed at the plaque marking the graves of the soldiers, prayers will be offered and the militia will fire musket salutes.

The procession then advances to Bruton Parish Church, where a wreath is offered to a church representative who will lead prayers in memory of those veterans interred in the churchyard followed by musket salutes.

Participants will lastly march to the French gravesites near Providence Hall to recognize the aid of the French allies in the final victory of the American Revolution. A third wreath will be laid, and three final cannon salutes will be fired by the militia artillery crew.

The Memorial Day service is free and open to the public.

During Memorial Day Weekend, Friday through Monday, May 22-25, Colonial Williamsburg offers weekend-long admission passes to active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans and their families. The “Honoring Service to America” pass provides admission to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, including the daily Revolutionary City® program, Capitol and Governor’s Palace and to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, and Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of Foundation benefactor John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. The pass also includes an Orientation Walk, a walking tour that provides an overview of Colonial Williamsburg and its Restoration, free shuttle bus service to and from the Visitor Center, a viewing of the movie, “Williamsburg, The Story of a Patriot,” and free parking at the Visitor Center.

The service member need not be present, and free “Honoring Service to America” passes will be provided to immediate family members of currently deployed troops, with appropriate identification. Military veterans who separated before retirement can bring a copy of their honorable discharge paperwork, DD Form 214, as identification of service. These weekend-long admission passes are available only at Colonial Williamsburg on-site ticket sales windows.

In addition to providing complimentary admission tickets to these honored guests, Colonial Williamsburg offers special rates to military personnel and their families at any of its five on site hotels, the closest lodging to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, museums, dining, shopping, golf, children’s activities and more.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121