Ready for a short vacation this Memorial Day weekend? Make it memorable by planning ahead! Regardless of how you decide to celebrate this Memorial Day, it’s pretty safe to say that many of us are ecstatic to be enjoying a day off from work to spend with family and friends. There are a variety of great places across America that offer celebratory patriotic activities, and they are all perfect places to go to enjoy the beautiful pre-summer weather while also paying tribute to our country and those who have sacrificed for our freedom.
Before Memorial Day weekend, soldiers will have placed flags in front of every gravestone, so arrive just in time for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. There is an annual performance by the U.S. Army Band as well as a National Memorial Day Parade that locals and tourists attend. The cemetery is situated just across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial, so visit that site while you’re in the area.
This park showcases Boston’s role in the American Revolution, and is home to the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The park provides guided walking tours, lectures, and costumed programs. The sites within this park are connected by a red brick path known as “The Freedom Trail” and can be explored in a tour that takes you through downtown Boston. This city is also known as “the Cradle of Liberty” and is also home to other nationally renown art museums that are worth visiting while your there.
A variety of events take place along the coast of San Francisco throughout Memorial Day weekend. A formal ceremony and parade takes place at the Presidio, a former military base that is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. Nearby, at Fisherman’s Wharf, at the USS Pampanito, a WWII submarine, a ceremony will be held to honor and remember the veterans and ships lost at war.
This cemetery was once where President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address on November 19th, 1863. The park here offers an extensive museum about the Civil War and the role of Gettysburg during the war. Also, the Annual Gettysburg Memorial Day Parade takes place on Monday, and is one of the oldest traditional ceremonies in this country.
The floating memorial site is the final resting place for many battle ships and crewmen who died on the December 7th, 2941 attack. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center exhibits a small museum, a guided tour, and the option to step into one of their battleship interiors. While you’re in Hawaii, stop by Waikiki to check out the Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony at Magic Island. This ceremony lights up the waters at Ala Moana Beach Park and honors the ones who have sacrified their lives at war.
The Chicago parade is known to be one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation, and an important political figure lays a wreath during this parade every year at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza just before the parade kicks off.