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Wreaths and flowers were laid down Sunday at the Yorktown National Cemetery in remembrance of the thousands of military personnel who have sacrificed their lives for the U.S.
Organized by the Colonial National Historical Park every Memorial Day weekend since 1989, the wreath-laying ceremony was attended by locals and visitors, re-enactors and park rangers Sunday in Yorktown.
Dressed in the uniforms of Civil War soldiers, men from the 1st Texas Infantry, the 9th Virginia Infantry and the 20th Main Infantry served as the honor guard during the ceremony, presenting the colors and performing a three-volley salute.
“Too often we fail to remember those who gave their lives or those whose lives today bears the scars of the lasting memory of that sacrifice,” Park Ranger Taylor Smith said during the ceremony. “It is important to not only recognize their service but to protect their devotion to duty and to ensure that the purpose of which they thought will never be forgotten.”
More than 2,000 Union Virginia soldiers — along with some from North Carolina and Georgia and eight Confederate soldiers — who fought in the Civil War are buried in the Yorktown National Cemetery, and a Confederate cemetery containing an unknown number of soldiers is located a few hundred yards away.
Wreaths were presented at both ceremonies, and attendees were invited to lay carnations down on the graves following the ceremonies.
Down the street at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center, Civil War tactical demonstrations, encampments and a Confederate hospital drew visitors as part of the Colonial National Historical Park's Civil War weekend.