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Event: MEMORIAL DAY ~ Honoring the Courage of Heroes
~ MAY 27
Monday, Memorial Day (Event times noted below)
EVENTS & PUBLIC TOUR: MEMORIAL DAY CIVIL WAR REENACTORS, CEREMONIES, BAND CONCERT, & TOUR
All ceremony locations will be noted on a map to be distributed at the gates on Memorial Day. All ceremonies and the tour are free. The ceremonies will be held in the event of rain but may be relocated to the Crown Hill Funeral Home if necessary. The Gothic Chapel will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Feel free to bring a picnic and join us all day. Public restrooms are available behind the Gothic Chapel, in the Funeral Home, and Community Mausoleum.
- 9:30 a.m. and throughout the day – GATLING GUN & CANNON DEMONSTRATIONS
Beginning at approximately 9:30 am you can visit Mike Marsh and the 1st Wisconsin reenactors as they talk about and demonstrate their Gatling gun. They’ll be located at Richard Gatling’s memorial on the west side of the National Cemetery. Civil War reenactors Mike and Cathy Smith will be firing a large cannon nearby.
- 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – HISTORIC GOTHIC CHAPEL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Crown Hill’s historic Gothic Chapel will be open for visitors to enjoy. This beautiful chapel was built in 1875 for $39,000 and was restored in 2004-2005 for $2.5 million. Please stop by and see this priceless treasure, including the custom-built organ! (Note that Crown Hill’s annual Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony will be held behind the Gothic Chapel, on the grounds of the Crown Hill National Cemetery.)
- 11:00 a.m. – SONS OF UNION VETERANS MEMORIAL SERVICE
The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will be holding their Memorial Day Ceremony honoring a Civil War veteran. This year they will honor Captain Richard Burns, who is buried on Lot 49, Section 4. (See the event map handed out at the gate for the location.) He served in the Third Battery, Indiana Light Artillery from September 1861-August 1865, then died of sunstroke in 1888.
- 12:00 Noon-3:00 p.m. – VISIT WITH CIVIL WAR REENACTORS
You’ll be able to visit with reenactors and learn about what it was like during the Civil War era. To find the location in one of the large fields off the main drive, enter either cemetery entrance and follow the yellow line on the road until you see the orange cones and event signs for the Civil War Memorial Service. The reenactors will be located nearby. (Times are approximate.)
- 12:15-1:15 p.m. – VISIT WITH PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN in the GOTHIC CHAPEL
Be sure to stop in the Gothic Chapel between 12:15-1:15 p.m. and visit with President Lincoln! He will greet visitors and share about his life in the comfort of the beautiful Gothic Chapel! Great for all ages! Refreshments will be available. And be sure to listen during the main ceremony as President Lincoln recites his most famous speech ever, the Gettysburg Address. (President Lincoln is portrayed by Danny Russel.)
- 12:45-1:20 p.m. – CROWN HILL CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL SERVICE
The Crown Hill Civil War Memorial Service will be held at the Confederate Mound on Section 32 and will be conducted by Civil War reenactors. They’ll honor the 1,616 Confederate fallen at the Confederate Mound (a National Cemetery), then march to the Crown Hill National Cemetery and honor the thousands of Union fallen interred there. To find the location, enter either cemetery entrance and follow the yellow line on the road until you see the orange cones and event signs.
- 1:30-2:00 p.m. – BAND CONCERT
Be sure to come early and enjoy the traditional 30-minute patriotic band concert held prior to the main ceremony, performed by the Indiana Army National Guard’s 38th Division Band. The concert will be held at the National Cemetery, located directly behind the historic Gothic Chapel.
- 2:00-3:00 p.m. – 151st ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY
– Crown Hill presents the longest-running Memorial Day Ceremony in Indiana! This year marks the 151st annual ceremony, first held on May 30, 1868, shortly after General John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, established this day to honor the soldiers and sailors who died during the Civil War. With nearly 10,000 people in attendance, our first ceremony was held on the grounds of the Crown Hill National Cemetery, located behind the historic Gothic Chapel. Our first ceremony featured many speeches, including from by Gov. Conrad Baker, a veteran and former commander of an Indiana Infantry Regiment. The graves of the soldiers in the National Cemetery were decorated with fresh-cut flowers.
– We welcome Brigadier General J. Stewart Goodwin (Ret.) USAF, as our keynote speaker (pictured). General Goodwin is the Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission in Indianapolis, which includes a museum and 25 acres of parks, monuments, sculptures, statues, and fountains. Other guests include Rodney Strong, Department Commander for the Indiana American Legion, and Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War President, reciting the Gettysburg Address during the ceremony. (Please come early and visit with President Lincoln inside the Gothic Chapel from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Pres. Lincoln is portrayed by Danny Russel.)
– We welcome back the support of the men and women of the Indiana Army National Guard as they join us again as they have for many years. In addition to the band concert by the 38th Division Band at 1:30 p.m., a Howitzer 21-gun salute will be conducted by the Indiana Army National Guard (pictured below). Patriotic music provided by throughout the ceremony by “The Central Sound,” a Lawrence Central High School choir. Folding chairs will be available or feel free to bring your own chair or blanket. Cookies and bottled water will also be available, as well as indoor restrooms. You’re welcome to arrive early or stay late to picnic. (The funeral home and cemetery office closes at 5 p.m. but the gates will remain open until 8:00 p.m.)
- 3:00 p.m. (approximately) – “VETERANS” WALKING TOUR
You’re invited to take a free 1-hour guided walking tour of historic Crown Hill Cemetery immediately following the ceremony featuring the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in battle. This interesting tour will be led by Tom Davis, an expert Crown Hill Tour Guide. Included on his tour will be the grave of the last soldier buried in the National Cemetery, an airman killed in action in Vietnam.
The Indiana Army National Guard conducts an impressive 21-gun Howitzer cannon salute during the Memorial Day Ceremony. They will be located across the street from the National Cemetery and next to Section 28. Arrive early to visit with the National Guardsmen who operate the guns. Be sure to also see Gatling Gun demonstrations at Richard Gatling’s memorial (on the western edge of the National Cemetery), as well as other Civil War cannons by the two National Cemeteries.