Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. However, the more important meaning of the day is to give honor and thanks to the men and women who gave their lives in military service to the United States. Patriotism is a strong devotion to one’s country. Parents can encourage patriotism in their children by their actions on Memorial Day and all through the year.
At Arlington National Cemetery and other national cemeteries across the country, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice will be honored on Memorial Day. The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day. The U.S. Air Force Band will play a prelude starting at 10:30 a.m. in the amphitheater. Following the wreath-laying ceremony, there will be an observance program in the amphitheater.
Many Vietnam veterans will roll into Washington, D.C. as part of the Rolling Thunder Run over the Memorial Day weekend. Rolling Thunder is an annual motorcycle event in Washington to honor the lives of those who never returned home from Vietnam, the POWs and MIAs. On Friday, May 24, there will be a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On Sunday, May 26, motorcycle riders from across the nation will participate in the Rolling Thunder Run, departing from the Pentagon at noon and riding to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. All weekend, attendance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and other war memorials in Washington will be heavy.
In many cities and towns across the country, military veterans, active military members and members of the community will participate in Memorial Day ceremonies. In addition to the ceremonies, there will be parades, candlelight vigils and patriotic concerts. Many of these events are held at local war memorials. The small town of Bedford, Va. is home to the National D-Day Memorial. Bedford was chosen because the town suffered the highest per-capita loss in the nation during the invasion of Normandy during World War II on June 6, 1944. Two events will be held over the Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, May 25, the Stars and Stripes Forever Patriotic Concert will be held at the D-Day Memorial at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. On Memorial Day, there will be a special ceremony at 11 a.m. to honor the sacrifice of the men and women who answered freedom’s call.
Check out events in your own community to observe the true meaning of Memorial Day and honor the memory of those who gave their lives to advance freedom. Memorial Day is about more than cookouts or a day at the beach. Celebrate freedom this year on Memorial Day in your community.