First National Memorial Service for Meriwether Lewis - Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Lewis’ Death

Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 07:00pm


Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Lewis’ Death

HOHENWALD - On October 7, 2009, Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, will be honored for the first time with a national memorial service. In commemoration of the bicentennial of Lewis’ death and to respect his memory, Hohenwald, Tenn. will pay tribute to Meriwether Lewis with a ceremony worthy of this true American hero.  
The commemorative event will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Meriwether Lewis grave and monument at milepost 385.9 on the Natchez Trace Parkway and just off Tennessee Hwy. 20 in Hohenwald. The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, headquartered in Montana, will host the bicentennial commemoration through its Tennessee Meriwether Lewis chapter. The ceremony will be part of the Foundation’s annual meeting.  
Descendants of both Lewis and Clark, government officials, tribal chiefs, representatives from Monticello, re-enactors from the Lewis and Clark Expedition bicentennial and people from across the country will assemble at Meriwether Lewis’ grave to mourn the tragedy of his short life and to honor his achievements. Representatives from states associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition will carry flags flown over the capitol buildings of the states as part of a formal procession to his grave. William Clark’s direct descendant Peyton “Bud” Clark will speak of Lewis and Clark’s enduring friendship and Howell Bowen, Lewis’ collateral descendant, will describe Lewis as a man who sacrificed for his country and died while in its service.
Although significant regional events have been held at Lewis’ grave, the October ceremony will be the first that is national in scope. The goal of the commemoration is to tell Lewis’ story as a real man who personally sacrificed for his country and who accomplished much for the young nation. The event will recognize Lewis with eulogies, the type that would have been given him at a memorial in 1809. The event will not settle the question of how Lewis died, but it is hoped that it will complete some matters left undone since his premature death at age 35, and give the national hero’s entire life story the recognition it is due. 
For more information contact Wendy Raney at or visit For information on the specific details of the ceremony, contact Tony Turnbow at  

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