The annual General Meade Birthday Celebration will be held at Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue, on Monday, December 31, noon. It will mark the 197th anniversary of the birth of General George G. Meade, commander of the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. A parade of Civil War re-enactors, civilians in period attire, special dignitaries, heritage groups and participants will advance to Meade’s final resting place and memorialize his services to his nation. A 21-gun salute and champagne toast will cap off the program at graveside, and will be followed by a reception in the Cemetery Gatehouse. A tour of historic Laurel Hill will be offered following the festivities (weather permitting). This year holds special significance as we continue to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Dr. Andy Waskie, president of the General Meade Society of Philadelphia, will serve as master of ceremonies. Beer and full refreshments will be served after the service, and tours of Laurel Hill will be available. The event is free and open to the public. Additional information may be obtained by calling 215-228-8200, or online at www.generalmeadesociety.org.