Stones River National Battlefield and the National Park Service are taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state/local public health agencies. In order to meet that guidance, all Memorial Day events scheduled for May 23-24, 2020 are cancelled.

The guidance in the White House Opening Up America Again plan calls for limiting the size of public gatherings and maintenance of social distancing through its first two phases. Stones River National Battlefield’s Memorial Day events generally draw crowds in the hundreds which far exceeds the Phase 1 & 2 limits.

“We make this decision to cancel one of the most meaningful events on our calendar with great reluctance,” said Superintendent Brenda Pennington. “The Memorial Day tradition of honoring those who gave their lives in service to our nation rose out of the terrible cost of our Civil War, and we will miss the opportunity to share the experience with hundreds of volunteers and visitors who annually participate in our flag placement event and Memorial Day service. However, the safety of our dedicated staff and the public remain our top priority, and we believe cancellation is the best course of action.”

Park staff will participate in a virtual Memorial Day event, including several other national parks, on Monday May 25, 2020. More details on this event will be forthcoming via the park’s Facebook page at

In addition to other park areas that may be open to the public during the adaptive recovery process, Stones River National Cemetery will be open for vehicle and pedestrian access from 8 AM to 8 PM May 23-25, 2020. We ask the public to refrain from using the national cemetery parking lot for any purpose other than to visit that special place.