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Honoring Heroes: Memorial Day in Franklin and Williamson County, TN

Honoring Heroes: Memorial Day in Franklin and Williamson County, TN

Memorial Day, observed every year on the last Monday of May, is a time to honor the military personnel who have died in the line of duty. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war.  Over the years, Memorial Day has expanded to honor all Americans who have died while in military service.

Traditionally, Memorial Day also marks the start of the summer season, with many gathering for picnics and other outdoor activities. In Franklin and Williamson County, this significant day is commemorated with a variety of activities, events, and special deals that bring the community together to remember, celebrate, and enjoy the start of summer.

Memorial Day national cemetery flags

Memorial Day Events to Remember and Reflect

This Memorial Day, take part in commemorating the sacrifices of our heroes through various ceremonies and displays. The community gathers at several locations to pay homage to the bravery and service of military personnel, first responders, and local heroes. Whether through ceremonial gatherings or displays of remembrance, these events offer a chance to honor those who have dedicated their lives to our country.

Williamson County Office of Veteran Services

The Annual Williamson County Memorial Day Ceremony will take place on Monday, May 27th at 10 am at Veterans’ Memorial Park in downtown Franklin. The event will feature a 45-minute program.  For more details, contact 615-790-5623.

The Murfreesboro Healing Field

The Murfreesboro Healing Field 2024 event is scheduled for May 25-27 at the First United Methodist Church. This public event features a striking display of 500 U.S. flags, creating a moving tribute to fallen service members, first responders, veterans, and local heroes. Each flag symbolizes an individual story, honoring those who have served. The event, which fosters community and national unity, supports local charities and is organized by the Exchange Club of Rutherford County.

Old Hickory Veterans Memorial Park Memorial Day Service

On Memorial Day, May 27, at 10:30 am, join the ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park of Old Hickory. This non-profit organization honors local veterans from the 37138 zip code who have served in the armed forces. 

Mt. Juliet Healing Field

The 12th Annual Field of Honor event is scheduled to take place from May 23rd to May 29 in Mt. Juliet. This event is hosted by the Exchange Club of Wilson County and the American Legion Post 281 as part of a nationwide initiative by the Colonial Flag Foundation to honor American heroes. During the event, a display of 300 U.S. flags will be erected, creating a tribute to veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders, and other heroes.

Stones River National Cemetery

Stones River National Cemetery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, holds over 6,100 Union soldiers from the Civil War. The cemetery includes many unknown soldiers and nearly 1,000 veterans from later conflicts, serving as a historical site commemorating American wartime sacrifices.  On May 26th from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, visitors are invited to gather at the national cemetery rostrum to remember the sacrifices of soldiers, past and present. The event will include patriotic music, a special speaker, and a wreath-laying ceremony. 

Middle Tennessee Memorial Day Ruck 2024

The Middle Tennessee Memorial Day Ruck 2024 will take place on May 25 from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm at Barfield Crescent Park in Murfreesboro. This is the 3rd annual gathering, welcoming patriots, veterans, active duty members, and their families. The event features a 4-mile ruck march and includes food trucks and music. All proceeds will benefit the Joshua Chamberlain Society of Nashville, which supports local wounded veterans and Gold Star families for life. The trail is paved and accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

Luminaries Battle of Franklin

Visit Civil War Sites in Franklin and Williamson County on Memorial Day

Franklin and Williamson County are rich in Civil War history and offer several significant sites where visitors can pay their respects to those who fought and sacrificed. From the battle-scarred grounds of the Carter House and Carnton to the educational exhibits at the Williamson County Archives & Museum, each location offers a unique glimpse into the past and a chance to honor the legacy of bravery and sacrifice. 

Carter House

This historic site played a crucial role during the Battle of Franklin in the Civil War. It serves as a museum and offers tours that explore the house and the battle-scarred grounds, providing insights into the lives of soldiers and civilians affected by the conflict.


Also significant in the Battle of Franklin, Carnton served as a field hospital for Confederate soldiers. The grounds include a large Confederate cemetery where visitors can pay their respects to the soldiers buried there.

Williamson County Archives & Museum

Located in downtown Franklin, this museum showcases exhibits on local history, including military history. It’s a good place to learn about the broader historical context of the area.

McLemore House

This historic home offers a glimpse into the life of an African American family after the Civil War. It’s a place to reflect on the struggles and contributions of African Americans in the region.

Winstead Hill Park

Known for its role as a Confederate observation post during the Battle of Franklin, this park offers a peaceful setting with markers and monuments dedicated to those who fought in the battle.

passing out flags on Memorial Day

Celebrate Memorial Day with Music, Food, and Community Events

Welcome summer and honor Memorial Day with a variety of activities.  Whether you’re looking to enjoy some outdoor entertainment, participate in a health-conscious event, or just spend quality time with friends and family, the weekend provides ample opportunities to honor the day in festive and meaningful ways.

Memorial Day Fireworks

The Memorial Day fireworks hosted by Nashville Shores over Percy Priest Lake is scheduled for May 26 at 8:30 pm. The event features a fireworks display that is viewable from the water park, where the attractions close at 8 pm but certain areas remain open for the event. The fireworks are included with a season pass or daily admission ticket.

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards has planned an eventful Memorial Day Weekend. The weekend includes Food Truck Fridays with live jazz and bluegrass music on May 24th, featuring bands like 9 Volt Romeo and Eli Fox Band, and food trucks such as Little Cancun Cantina and Chang Noi Thai-Lao. On May 25 and 26, more music is scheduled with bands like Andrew Carney and the Essentials and The Lilliston Effect, alongside food offerings from Mac Shack and Los Tacos Mexican Grill. The weekend concludes with performances by 9 Volt Romeo and food from Cousins Maine Lobster on May 27. 

Memorial Day Dash 5K

The Memorial Day Dash 5k is an annual event held in Nashville designed to combine a fun, active morning with a bit of historical appreciation. Starting and finishing at the Adventure Science Center, the route takes participants through the scenic Fort Negley Historic Park and around St. Cloud Hill, ending at the Nashville City Cemetery. 

This event, scheduled for May 27, includes a 5k run or walk from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. The race features chip timing, finisher medals, and awards for top finishers in various categories. Additional activities include costume contests for the most patriotic outfit. The proceeds from the race will support preservation efforts and educational outreach of the Nashville City Cemetery Association.

Martins BBQ Memorial Day

Memorial Day Deals and Discounts

Celebrate Memorial Day with deals and discounts at some of your favorite spots. Whether you’re planning a large gathering or a quiet meal, several local businesses are offering special promotions to make your holiday even more enjoyable. 

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

Whether you have a boat day planned, a backyard celebration, or a simple gathering with your closest family members, Martin’s Memorial Day catering options will allow you to enjoy the holiday without dealing with all of the food prep. Catering options can serve any size crowd and include a variety of smoked meats including ribs, turkey and brisket, southern sides, and sweet treats. The full catering menu can be viewed here

For our heroes in uniform, Martin’s offers a 10% discount year-round for military members who present their ID. Additionally, veterans and active duty service members can enjoy 20% off their Memorial Day meals when they dine in at any Martin’s Bar-B-Que location. 

Biscuit Love

Biscuit Love, renowned for its delectable southern comfort food, offers a 50% military discount year-round at all its locations to those who present a valid military ID.

Hugh Baby’s

Hugh Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop celebrates the traditions of the mid-south with a focus on simple, scratch-made pleasures. Known for their burgers made from freshly ground premium beef and Memphis-style barbecue, the menu also features hot dogs, veggie burgers, milkshakes, and more. In recognition of their military customers, Hugh Baby’s offers a 10% discount to military personnel year-round. 

Perry’s SteakHouse

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille offers a special military menu for active and former military members. This dine-in only option is available at a special price and includes three courses with six choices. Reservations are required, and a valid military ID must be presented to take advantage of this offer. 

Tractor Supply

In honor of Memorial Day, Tractor Supply is offering a sale on American flags. Before you fly your flag, here’s what you need to know about flag etiquette.

White Limozeen

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, White Limozeen is partnering with local New Orleans whiskey bar Barrel Proof, who will be popping up on the patio bar from 5:30 to 9:30 pm. The evening will feature an open swim at the pool, Standard Proof Whiskey cocktails, and fun food specials. Guests can RSVP to access the pool and patio here.

Bolt Farm Treehouse

Memorial Day Weekend Escapes

Looking for the perfect place to stay Memorial Day weekend? Whether you prefer luxurious city accommodations, serene countryside retreats, or unique glamping experiences, there’s something for everyone. 

Bolt Farm Treehouse

Located on 55 acres near Chattanooga, Bolt Farm Treehouse in Whitwell, TN, offers a memorable Memorial Day retreat. This glamping destination features treehouses, domes, and mirror cabins, all seamlessly blending into the environment. Guests can enjoy privacy, reconnect with nature on scenic hiking trails, and participate in yoga and kayaking. The weekend is capped off with a “grill and eat” experience, making for a truly unique holiday celebration. 

Southall Farm and Inn

At Southall Farm & Inn in Franklin, TN, the Memorial Day weekend offers a rich itinerary with activities from Thursday to Monday. Guests can enjoy morning farm tours, complimentary wellness sessions, and exciting activities like falconry and archery. Unique experiences include beekeeping tours and beeswax candle making, with live music from notable artists. Rates start at $499 per night for a three-night stay, with discounts for an added Monday night and dining credits. For the full itinerary, visit their Memorial Day Weekend page.

JW Marriott Nashville

Located just two blocks from Broadway in Nashville, this upscale property is perfect for a luxurious Memorial Day Weekend. It features a rooftop pool deck with stylish cabanas, a cabana bar, and summer DJ events. Guests can relax at the full-service spa with various treatments, and dine at Nashville’s only Bourbon Steak by Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina, which offers fresh seafood, top-quality cuts, and a selection of wines and crafted cocktails.

Person holding small American Flag

Memorial Day Reflections and Celebrations in Franklin and Williamson County

As we gather to honor the brave men and women who have served our country, Franklin and Williamson County offer a wealth of historical sites, community events, and special tributes. From visiting Civil War landmarks to participating in local ceremonies and enjoying special offers at various establishments, there are numerous ways to pay homage and reflect on the sacrifices made by our heroes. This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember and appreciate the legacy of those who have given their lives in service to our nation.