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Annual Memorial Illumination Draws Thousands

Antietam National Battlefield

National Park News

The park held its 19th annual memorial illumination on Saturday, December 1st. Nearly 1,400 volunteers placed and lighted 23,110 luminaries (candles inside paper sacks weighted down with sand) throughout the battlefield. Each candle represented a soldier who was killed, wounded, or reported missing following the September 17, 1862 battle. The event is the largest illumination event held in North America. Event sponsors include the NPS, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the American Business Women’s Association. Approximately 1,900 cars and buses drove through the park during the viewing period. The opening ceremony was held at the Maryland Monument, with remarks by Superintendent J.W. Howard, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, and other local officials. There were no incidents during the event. Traffic control and security for the event were provided by Antietam staff, rangers from several other National Capital Region parks, the Maryland State Highway Administration, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and Hagerstown REACT.



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