Date: May 2, 2014 Contact: , 229 924-0343, ext. 201
ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia – Memorial Day represents a time for the nation to pause, remember and honor the service of deceased veterans and military members who died on active duty. For many Americans, the weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer and includes activities such as backyard barbeques or vacations to a lake or beach. For others, the weekend is a time for somber remembrance of family members and friends whose sacrifices are recognized by a grateful nation. Beginning with citizen gatherings nearly 150 years ago, Memorial Day is the most significant annual ceremony in Andersonville National Cemetery. Today, this patriotic holiday is observed by the National Park Service at Andersonville with a multi-day series of activities.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 James L. Ramge, United States Army (Retired) will be the featured speaker at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2014, at the annual Memorial Day Service in Andersonville National Cemetery.
Jim Ramge joined the United States Army in December 1967 and attended Basic Training at Fort Polk, LA. After his discharge in August 1969, he reentered the Army as a signals intelligence specialist in September 1970 and retired in August 1990. In 2005, he was recalled to active duty and in June 2013 was returned to the retired rolls. Ramge holds Associate and Baccalaureate degrees in General Studies from Western Kentucky University. He has held both intelligence leadership and staff positions throughout his career at Fort Devens, MA; Kelly AFB, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Meade, MD; and Fort Rucker, AL. His overseas tours were in Germany, Hawaii, Turkey, and Vietnam. Subsequent to his retirement in 1990, he was a contracted instructor to the Saudi Arabian Ground Forces personnel and worked in administration at Western Kentucky University.
Ramge's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Overseas Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 'M' Device; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (7 Stars); Parachutist Badge; and the Aircraft Crewman Badge. Ramge has been conferred with the Knowlton Award, United States Army Military Intelligence Corps. He is married to the former Janice Lynn Faussett of Port Angeles, Washington. Their sons, James Jr. and Gregory, are both retired Army veterans.
In preparation for the Sunday ceremony, on Friday, May 23, volunteers will raise the Avenue of Flags along the roadways within the cemetery. In the morning of Saturday, May 24, scouting groups and other volunteers from across the state of Georgia will remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces by decorating the nearly 20,000 gravesites within the cemetery with American flags. Volunteers also take down the flags Tuesday morning, following the end of the holiday.
Memorial Day activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2014, in Andersonville National Cemetery with instrumental music performed by the US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Band. The formal program will begin at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony will feature wreath presentations by several military, civic, and patriotic organizations, including the Friends of Andersonville.
"The Sunday service is the high point of the Memorial Day weekend at Andersonville," remarked Superintendent Brad Bennett, "Please join us in remembering the sacrifices of those men and women who have given their lives in defense of our nation." Additional information about Memorial Day weekend at Andersonville can also be found at: http://go.nps.gov/memorialdayandersonville
Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles south of Oglethorpe, GA and 10 miles northeast of Americus, GA on Georgia Highway 49. The national park features the National Prisoner of War Museum, Andersonville National Cemetery and the site of the historic Civil War prison, Camp Sumter. Andersonville National Historic Site is the only national park within the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Park grounds are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with the museum opening at 9:00 a.m. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924-0343, visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande/, or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/AndersonvilleNPS
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
Did You Know?
Very little remains of the original Andersonville prison. On the grounds, only the earthworks remain. Housed in the National Prison of War Museum are the original lock, key, and hinge from the South Gate along with a piece of the deadline and a post from the stockade. Relics from prisoners include a mirror and sewing kit as well as handmade items such as a pipe and rings made of bone.