Thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers, Fredericksburg National Cemetery once again hosted its annual Memorial Day Luminaria commemoration on Saturday night. More than 15,000 soldiers are buried in the cemetery, although only about twenty percent of them are identified. Confederates are buried in nearby cemeteries in downtown Fredericksburg and just north of the courthouse complex in Spotyslvania.
I’ll offer a special shout-out to Emerging Civil War’s Kathleen Logothetis, who wrote the script for this year’s cemetery tour and greeted folks at the cemetery’s front gate. Our pal Steward Henderson, wearing his green and gray, met visitors in the Fredericksburg Visitor Center. And Edward Alexander and I had the pleasure of working together for the first time, offering interpretation at the site of Parker’s Battery atop Marye’s Heights, in the far front corner of the cemetery.
It was a great night to not only remember the valor of the soldiers and the sacrifices of those who gave their last full measure of devotion, but also a poignant opportunity to remember those on both sides who were left behind–the mothers, the wives, the children.