May 27 @ 12:00 am EDT
Mystic Seaport will pay tribute to fallen Civil War soldiers during its annual Decoration Day ceremony.,Known today as Memorial Day, Decoration Day was formally instituted by the United States government in 1868 as a day of national remembrance of those killed during the Civil War. Decoration Day observances included tending and decorating the graves of the fallen, church services, solemn processions, and community suppers.,In the morning, visitors are invited to the museum’s Fishtown Chapel to witness the memorials laid for local Civil War soldiers.,At midday, amid the tolling of steeple bells, all are welcome inside the Greenmanville Church for a brief service complete with a sermon and hymns. A somber procession to the waterfront follows. Led by a uniformed color guard playing a funeral march, participants lay a wreath of flowers at the cannon in front of the Performance Stage and hand another down to a rowboat waiting at the wharf. As the procession reaches the end of Middle Wharf, “Taps” begins and the boat moves out past the ,, where the wreath is trailed in the water. Three gun salutes are fired as “Taps” concludes; the wreath is released, and everyone is provided with a flower to cast onto the river.,The afternoon music performance features the fife and drum contingent from the procession, discussing the role of music on the homefront, in camp, and on the battlefield during the Civil War.,The day’s observances conclude with the gathering of citizens from 1876 Greenmanville in the Seamen’s Friend Society Reading Room, where visitors can speak with those who witnessed the war from both land and sea, saw President Abraham Lincoln, or lost a loved one.