Gallatin to Celebrate 5th Annual Decoration Day


This Sunday, May 21 from 2 – 4 p.m. the City of Gallatin is holding the fifth-annual “Decoration Day” at the Gallatin City Cemetery. Decoration Day is a tradition in many southern cities where members of the community come together to clean and decorate tombstones, place American flags on Veterans’ graves, and connect with prior generations. Live music will return to the cemetery with musician James Story and friends, retired professor of music at Volunteer State Community College.

Volunteers will be trained on-site to properly clean gravestones dating back to 1800. The city uses the same process to clean monuments as the White House and Arlington National Cemetery.

Decoration Day was started by the Gallatin City Cemetery Committee, “Friends of the Historic Gallatin City Cemetery,” whose members consist of City of Gallatin employees, historians, business leaders, and specialists in the maintenance of cemeteries. This year the group is using donated funds to create a monument to honor those buried in the older African American section of the cemetery where ground-penetrating radar was used to identify 500 unmarked graves.


Date: Sunday, May 21, 2023, 2-4pm
Who: Open to the public, all ages
What: Brief program introduction before restoring/decorating graves
Attractions: Live music, cookies, monument cleaning workshops

For more information about Decoration Day or to get involved with the restoration of the Gallatin City Cemetery, please contact Jeff Hentschel at the Mayor’s Office at 615-451-5961 (615-499-1780 the day of the event).


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