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Thursday, May 23, 2024

You’re Invited to The 52nd Memorial Day Celebration

The Williamsburg Memorial Park invites the community to The 52nd Annual Memorial Day Celebration on Mon., May 29, 2023 at 10 a.m. in honor of the 1,300 veterans, police, fire and rescue, and first responders who call Williamsburg their final resting place.

The approach to Williamsburg Memorial Park leads away from the congestion of Richmond Road and the Premium Outlets Mall to a small street off of Olde Towne Road (King William Drive).

After passing by several suburban homes, the cul-de-sac beckons you to drive into an unmarked driveway. As you make the first turn, you see the large sign welcoming you to Williamsburg Memorial Park, your community cemetery, founded in 1962.

As you reach the top of the hill and round the last bend, you view the final resting place of many former residents of Williamsburg, including over 1,300 veterans. In remembrance of past service and sacrifices, Williamsburg Memorial Park invites the community to The 52nd Annual Memorial Day Celebration on Mon., May 29, 2023. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. rain or shine.

A sense of peace washes over most who visit this final resting place. The melodic notes of songbirds float through the air as tree leaves flutter softly with the breeze over blossoming gardens. From almost every walk of life, the brave interred here fought the fight of their lives among varying battlefields, whether urban or rural, foreign or domestic. Whether decades ago or more recently, stationed at sea or hillside, desert or neighborhoods, these brave men and women sacrificed not just for their precious family and friends or for strangers they’d never met, but they fought to protect the ideals of this nation.

The Memorial Day event gathers people of all ages to honor the heroes who rest at Williamsburg Memorial Park. In addition to members of the armed forces, the annual Memorial Day celebration also honors law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and first responders.

The promise of never saying a final goodbye

First held in 1971, the Annual Memorial Day event connects the living with those of the fallen. The annual tradition means there is never a final goodbye, rather, it is a return to where they are interred and a renewed promise to honor their sacrifice for the greater good.

This year’s program features representatives among local veterans and veterans organizations, James City County Police and Fire and Rescue and the Boy Scouts of America Troops 103 and 155. Williamsburg Memorial Park representatives will include Jacqueline Martin, General Manager, and Timothy Dice, Family Services Counselor. Master of Ceremonies Mark Maggio, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired) will lead the event and the invocation will be provided by Father Chuck Keith.

Soul-stirring, patriotic music will be performed by Williamsburg Acapella Singers, Tom Monahan, Stephanie Lupo, Gayla Johnson, Scherry Barra, Vance Stallings, Ray Gresham, 1st Sergeant, US Army (Retired), and Joshua Jarosz.

Commander TC Smith, recipient of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is the featured guest speaker. Following his message, the traditional laying of the wreaths will take place. Of the more than 6,000 people interred at Williamsburg Memorial Park among its nine tended gardens and a mausoleum, 22% are veterans. This year, more than 1,300 American flags were placed on veterans’ graves throughout the 42-acre cemetery. People of all races, religions, ethnicities and orientations are proudly served at the park.

“We welcome the community to Williamsburg Memorial Park for The 52nd Annual Memorial Day Celebration,” says Jacqueline Martin, General Manager. “This event allows us all to honor the sacrifices made and is a reminder to use the gifts these heroes have given us to collaborate in creating a better world, a stronger nation, and a kinder community.”

Access the program now, easy event parking

The event is free to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and to arrive early for the best available seating.

Parking will be off-site at Bowlero Williamsburg, located at 5544 Olde Towne Road. A complimentary shuttle will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to ensure everyone makes it to and from the event as quickly and safely as possible. Parking for those with disabled tags, stickers, or placards will be available at Williamsburg Memorial Park.

Programs will be provided at the event or available now as a digital program.

Tune in for an event sneak peek

On Thurs., May 18 at 8:45 a.m., Tim Dice, Family Service Counselor with the Williamsburg Memorial Park, and singer Ray Gresham will be featured on a radio spot on WXGM Extra 99.1 on The Morning Show with DJ Neal Steele. Dice will share details about The Memorial Day Celebration and Gresham will sing “Proud to Be An American.”

For the love of community

Unlike other memorial parks, the Williamsburg Memorial Park is not owned by a large corporation. Instead, it is a nonprofit, community cemetery operated by a small staff of dedicated professionals. The park layout represents the gardening traditions of the colonial area. Whether those resting here have long called this their hometown or they were affectionately known as “come heres” from somewhere else, those interred are treated respectfully.

Located at 130 King William Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188, learn more at WilliamsburgMemorialPark.com or by calling (757) 565-2006.


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