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May 25, 2017

Colonial Williamsburg Honors the Fallen, Salutes Service this Memorial Day Weekend

Wreath-laying ceremony by local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution honors the fallen; military interpretive programming, military admission discounts and amenities available this weekend and year-round

Colonial Williamsburg honors the nation’s fallen this Memorial Day with a wreath-laying by local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, plus special programming and discounts all weekend for members of the military, veterans, retirees and their dependents all weekend on top of benefits offered year-round.

“Colonial Williamsburg’s mission is to share America’s enduring story, one that would not be written without the selfless service of our armed forces, so many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Mitchell B. Reiss, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “This Memorial Day weekend – as every day – we invite our guests to experience our shared history while we honor and remember the fallen.”

The Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony begins at 10 a.m. outside the Governor’s Palace complex, where a cemetery discovered during the site’s restoration holds the remains of 158 persons, many believed to be Revolutionary War soldiers hospitalized in the original structure. Led by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, the joint ceremony processes to Bruton Parish Church and ends at the Capitol for wreath layings at both locations, the final in honor of allied French fallen interred near the Historic Area. The service is free and open to the public.

Also on Memorial Day, the U. S. Air Force Heritage of America Concert Band will perform a free concert from 2 to 4 p.m. in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square.

All weekend, new and expanded Historic Area experiences await the whole family at sites including the Geddy, Randolph and Wythe houses, while at Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury, guests of all ages can experience the industrial effort that ensured victory for the young nation. Guests can engage interpreters in the Military Encampment at the Magazine, where they might even be recruited, drill and partake in musket demonstrations and other activities. Site programming is included in Colonial Williamsburg admission.

Exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the new “We the People: American Folk Portraits” at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary and open to guests with Colonial Williamsburg or Art Museums admission. The special program “Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier” features the songs and the stories from Flanders, Valley Forge and Waterloo at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 27 in the Art Museums’ Hennage Auditorium. Tickets are $4 and $2 for guests 12 and under, senior citizens, members of the military and Good Neighbor Pass holders.

The Honoring Service to America ticket provides free admission tickets May 26-29 for active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, National Guard members and their immediate dependents and is made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation.

The Liberty Lounge, a complimentary space where ticketed Colonial Williamsburg military guests plus retirees, veterans and their dependents can relax and recharge, is open throughout the weekend. Located in the Margaret Hunter Workshop just off Duke of Gloucester Street, the Liberty Lounge offers amenities for relaxation including hot and cold beverages, wireless Internet access and a children’s area. Open just over a year and staffed by Colonial Williamsburg volunteers, the Liberty Lounge has hosted more than 50,000 guests.

“Honoring men and women who serve – and their families – is among Colonial Williamsburg’s highest priorities, and their response to the Honoring Service to America program and Liberty Lounge has exceeded our highest expectations,” said Elisabeth Reiss, leader of Colonial Williamsburg’s military outreach efforts and wife of Mitchell B. Reiss. “We thank our volunteers and generous supporters as we welcome guests new and old to join us in commemorating the military’s service and sacrifice.”

The year-round Honoring Service to America program, which resumes June 1, offers complimentary Single-day admission to active-duty military, reserve and National Guard personnel and up to three direct dependents, while retirees and veterans qualify for 50 percent off Single-day tickets and up to five Annual Passes.

For more information about Colonial Williamsburg programs and tickets, telephone 855-296-6627 or visit More information is also available by following Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook and @colonialwmsburg on Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Anna Cordle