Ah…Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, the green light for wearing white, and a day for barbecuing with loved ones. But aside from the hot dogs, games of cornhole and the plethora of new wardrobe opportunities, it is important to remember why most of us are given this three-day holiday in the first place: to remember the people who lost their lives serving in our country’s armed forces. If you’re finding yourself spending the holiday in a new city, or if you are simply looking to mix up your Memorial Day festivities, take a look at our list of 5 ways to honor our fallen heroes across the US.
Arlington National Cemetery – Washington, D.C.
This year marks the 148th annual National Memorial Day Observance dedicated to honoring America’s fallen military service members. At 11 am the U.S. Army Military District of Washington will hold a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Following this event will be an observance program held by the Department of Defense. Both events are free and open to the public. While tickets are not needed, space is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Boston Common – Boston, MA
If the natural beauty of Boston Common isn’t enough of a reason to take a walk through the park, the installation set up last Wednesday for Memorial Day sure is. Over 450 volunteers came together to plant 37,000 U.S. flags on the Boston Common in honor of America’s fallen soldiers.
Presidio – San Francisco, California
If you appreciate a good parade, this one is worth checking out. For over 200 years the Presidio served as an army post, first for Spain, then Mexico and then the US. Every year this former military base hosts a parade to commemorate our veterans. This year the parade will begin at 10:30 am at the Main post (on Anza between Sheridan and Lincoln Boulevard) and will end at the National Cemetery.
Philadelphia – Pennsylvania
If you haven’t checked out the Philly POPS before, Memorial Day may just be the day to try it out. This year they will be performing Philly’s first Memorial Day concert at the Mann Center for Performing arts. The best part? Tickets are available for free for military members and first responders.
9/11 Ground Zero Memorial – New York, New York
Located at the site of the former World Trade Center complex, the 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial opened to the public on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. While visiting the site is surely difficult for most, it is a remarkable tribute to the thousands of heroes lost on, or involved in 9/11.
Learn how you can visit these cities and experience them with your students!