TAPS Memorial Day Media Information

The National Military Survivor Seminar is TAPS flagship event, held annually over Memorial Day weekend. As the nation remembers those who have given their lives for our freedom, their surviving family members gather in our nation's capital to remember the lives and service of their fallen heroes, connect with other families who have lost a loved one in the military, and journey together toward hope and healing. 

In addition to seminars and activities for adults, the National Military Survivor Seminar features a Good Grief Camp for children. Almost 500 children who lost a loved one in the military will be paired with military mentors who help to connect them to their loved one's service and provide a safe space where kids can explore grief in an age-appropriate way. 

Now in its 24th year, the National Military Survivor Seminar will be host almost 2,000 participants throughout the weekend. Although different activities will be held throughout the Washington area, the majority of events will take place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City.


Schedule and Highlights

The 24th National Military Survivor Seminar kicks off on Friday, May 25 and culminates with the official ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.  Interviews are available daily beginning at 5 a.m. with Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder; experts in the field of grief and loss; and surviving military families attending the national seminar. 

Highlights throughout the weekend include: 

Friday, May 25

  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. — Good Grief Camp Opening Ceremony, for children and military mentors
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — National Military Survivor Seminar Opening Ceremony, for adults
  • 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. — NBA Basketball Clinic at the Good Grief Camp, featuring 3 NBA players (TBA) 

Saturday, May 26

  • 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. — Good Grief Camp on the National Mall (23 buses will transport kids to the National Zoo, American History Museum and Martin Luther King Memorial)
  • 5:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. — Field Day U.S.A., including interactive games for Good Grief Campers and their military mentors
  • 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. — TAPS Grand Banquet, for adults, featuring celebrity chef Robert Irvine and Gen. Paul Selva, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force 

Sunday, May 27           

  • 11 a.m. — Good Grief Camp picnic with military escorts
  • 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. — TAPS Family BBQ featuring the military mentor march and the graduation of high school seniors from Good Grief Camp 

Monday, May 28

  • 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. — Memorial Day Observances at Arlington National Cemetery*
  • 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. — National Memorial Day Parade


Important Information

*Media must be credentialed by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington to access Arlington National Cemetery for the Memorial Day Observance. To request credentialing, email the Military District of Washington Public Affairs by 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 24. Military District of Washington Public Affairs can be reached at 202-685-4645 .