The First State Heritage Park Honors Delaware’s Veterans with Two Special Programs on Memorial Day

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DOVER, Del. – Throughout the nation’s history, men and women in the armed forces have sacrificed to protect citizens’ freedom from those that would seek to destroy it. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. The First State Heritage Park at Dover will honor Delaware’s veterans with two special programs on Memorial Day, May 26.

The first program, entitled Military Heroes of Delaware, will take place in Legislative Hall at 12:30 p.m. and will focus on the building’s Gallery of Military Heroes. Visitors will hear the heroic actions of such diverse men as Col. Samuel B. Davis, who repulsed the British attack on Lewes in 1813, World War II heroes and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Sgt. James P. Connor and Sgt. William Lloyd Nelson, and the story of Maj. George S. Welch, who has been immortalized in film for taking to the skies and shooting down Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor. This program is free of charge and will last 30 minutes. Guided tours of Legislative Hall will be offered before and after the program.

The second program is a special tour highlighting Dover’s Revolutionary veterans.  Beginning at historic Christ Church Cemetery, this tour will also stop at the Dover Green, and the Old Presbyterian Cemetery – the three public squares originally designated when Dover was formally laid out in 1717. Visitors will see either the residences or final resting places of such illustrious figures as Caesar Rodney, Col. John Haslet, and Dr. James Tilton, and will learn about lesser known figures such as John Parke and John Patten. This tour begins at Christ Church, on the corner of S. State and Water Streets, at 2 p.m. and will last approximately 90 minutes. The tour is free of charge.

In addition to these programs, First State Heritage Park partner sites including Legislative Hall will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with free admission to all. For more information about First State Heritage Park programs, the public may call 302-739-9194 or visit

Established by Governor Ruth Ann Minner in 2004, The First State Heritage Park at Dover is a partnership of state agencies, under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to create Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777.