When you think of the National Park Service, you might not consider what they do to include administration of National Cemeteries. But in fact, the National Park Service currently manages 14 national cemeteries.
In most cases the cemeteries are part of the individual park unit, preserving a unique aspect of the park and offering a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made there.
The following national park units include a national cemetery:
- Andersonville National Cemetery at Andersonville National Historic Site, Georgia
- Andrew Johnson National Cemetery at Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Tennessee
- Antietam National Cemetery at Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland
- Battleground National Cemetery at Rock Creek Park, District of Columbia
- Chalmette National Cemetery at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Louisiana
- Custer National Cemetery at Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, Montana
- Fort Donelson National Cemetery at Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Tennessee
- Fredericksburg National Cemetery at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Virginia
- Gettysburg National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
- Hallowed Ground National Cemetery at Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi
- Poplar Grove National Cemetery at Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia
- Shiloh National Cemetery at Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee
- Stones River National Cemetery at Stones River National Battlefield, Tennessee
- Yorktown National Cemetery at Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia
Fredericksburg National Cemetery
The most solemn cemetery we visited was in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, with its rows of headstones, many honoring unnamed soldiers. There are over 15,000 soldiers buried there, a stark reminder of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Memorial Day is set aside as a day during which we remember those who have given their lives in active military service and many of the national park units have special Memorial Day activities honoring the fallen.
Perhaps your Memorial Day should include a visit to one these special places.