The next James Monroe Birthday celebration will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the
Birthplace Monument site.
2009 marked the 251st anniversary of our 5th President's birth on 28 April 1758 here in the Colonial Beach area of Westmoreland County.
It was a very warm Saturday morning, on April 25th. Folks assembled just outside the visitor center at the birthplace site. Can I just say, the visitor center is pretty impressive. It's not easily visible from the main part of the site. You need to turn down a gravel road to get there.
Inside the visitor center is a framed letter from former President George W. Bush. He had been invited to attend the 250th James Monroe birthday ceremony in 2008, but as far as I know he was unable to attend, so instead he sent a very nice letter.
The ceremony began promptly at 11:00 a.m. We were first treated to the sounds of a local bagpipe organization, who played famous traditional pieces like "Amazing Grace" and "Taps".
This presentation was followed by Sojourners Color Guard dressed in period uniform. They made a terrific presentation about the American flag, all it's elements and what each piece stood for.
as well as various speeches from local officials, distinguished guests and heads of various historical-related organizations. Some of them are pictured in the photo below.
Former Army Secretary John O. Marsh, Jr. returned for the second year in a row. This year he received the Foundation's James Monroe Medal of Freedom. He is pictured at the bottom left corner of the Color Guard photo above.
Keynote speaker and 20-year member and President Emeritus of the Jefferson Foundation, Dr. David P. Jordan, Jr. described the birthplace property as hallowed ground.
A separate, wreath-laying ceremony was held a few days later at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, at his tomb. He died on July 4th, 1831 - one of three Presidents to pass away on Independence Day.
James Monroe Memorial Foundation
P.O. Box 11
Colonial Beach, VA 22443