Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and reflection as we honor those who died in conflict or as a veteran of active military service.

Event 1, Saturday, May 25th.  Flag Placement at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery, Legion Road. It all starts early Saturday morning Memorial Day Weekend. 

  • We gather at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Legion Road early on Saturday, May 25th. 
  • The first cars appear at about 7:15 a.m. 

There are veterans, families, and friends of veterans–all with a common mission–to place flags on the marked graves of veterans at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Legion Road.  All are welcome.

  • At about 7:30 a.m. instructions are provided and flags passed out.  Hundreds of flags are on station and there are plenty for everyone.  This is a family event.  We place over 500 flags.

Everyone is invited to join us.  If you have a veteran grave with no military designation buried there, we will give you a flag to personally place on their grave. Scouts from Chapel Hill Troops 835 and 505 join us each year.

Local media may attend the flag placement and memorial service.   Attendees may be photographed and interviewed.  Just ignore the media.  They want to capture us at work placing flags, saluting, sharing stories, and helping others.

Event 2, is also on Saturday, May 25th.   Memorial Service at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery

  • A Memorial Day Weekend Saturday Service is held at 8 a.m.   Stay with us after you place flags for a 30-minute event.
  • We select one World War veteran’s grave to represent all fallen veterans and hold their service at the honored gravesite.  Look for the large flags and assemble with us.  This year we are at a grave adjacent to the paved driveway.
  • The American Legion will HONOR  Staff Sergeant Robert Patton, WORLD WAR II U.S.  Army.
Robert Patton

Robert “Bob” Patton was a long-time resident of Chapel Hill who served as an Adjutant and also as the Post Commander.  Robert served in Europe with General Patton’s 3rd Army.  No, they were not related.  Bob was part of the contingent that freed the German Concentration Camp in Mauthausen, Austria.  He visited the camp in 2000 and found that there were no formal markings or monuments where there was a one-acre mass grave.  It was through his efforts that the site was officially marked.  Bob returned to Mauthausen a second time as an honored guest because of his efforts to honor those in unmarked mass graves.  Hear Robert share his story   Read his story of his return to Mauthausen and donating his World War II uniform to the Mauthausen Museum.  Robert Patton is a WCHL “Hometown Hero.”


Did you know that Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, started here in the South as area graves were decorated with flowers by widows?  It dates back to the Civil War. Learn more

Event 3, Monday, May 27th.   ORANGE COUNTY VETERANS MEMORIAL.   Many American Legionnaires join area veterans and the Orange County Veterans Memorial Committee as they hold a Monday memorial service at the Orange County Veterans Memorial site on Homestead Road, (above Seymour Center) It starts 9 a.m. with an Honor Guard raising our National Ensign and a Memorial Service.  The American Legion Riders will hold a motorcycle motorcade from the Memorial to the American Legion Post Home at the conclusion of the service.


Event 4, Monday, May 27th – American Legion Post Home.  On Monday, our Post will hold an OPEN HOUSE  on Monday.   

  • Military historical items will be on display and there is a Post Museum to delight both young and old.
  • The doors open at  1 p.m. 
  • Post will hold a Memorial Service to honor our recently departed members at about 2 p.m.

The memorial service is followed by food, drinks.  Patriotic music is provided.  Come and join us. Enjoy the afternoon with us as you relax at one of the newest American Legion Posts.   If you have not visited our Post Home yet, our facilities are beautiful and provide a welcoming environment for adults and children.  It was designed especially for our younger veterans and their families. We are just minutes away at 3700 NC 54 W Chapel Hill, NC 27516.  Watch for our large sign and entranceway.

If you are a local veteran of the U.S. Armed Services, you are eligible to join us as a member.  If you are not eligible, but are a descendant of man or women who served in the military, you are welcome to join our Sons of the American Legion.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email