While picnics, camping, and beginning-of-summer getaways are perhaps the most popular activities of Memorial Day weekend, there are also many opportunities to observe the holiday by paying your respects to those who have fallen in war in service to the United States of America. Many communities have memorial programs or parades to mark the day, and honor guards visit local cemeteries to offer salutes.
A visit to a national cemetery is another way to pay your respects to those who have served. Seeing rows upon rows of white gravestones, perfectly aligned, gives a special perspective on the men and women who have fought for this country.
Arlington National Cemetery, with its Tomb of the Unknowns and the grave of President John F. Kennedy, is perhaps the most widely known of the national cemeteries, but did you realize that there are 131 national cemeteries, located in 39 states?
Yesterday I took my children to Minnesota’s Fort Snelling National Cemetery, where we observed acres and acres of graves. This scene is repeated in over a hundred locations across the country. Our church’s cemetery this morning is decorated with flags at the graves of each veteran as well. Many, many people have served, some giving the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.
Amidst the fun and recreation of this summer kick-off, please take some time to honor those who have served our country. Attend a program or parade, or visit a cemetery to pay your respects as you remember just what Memorial Day is all about.
Photo credit: minnemom on flickr
Linda (minnemom) writes about family travel at Travels with Children.
Last year my family and I had an awesome Memorial Day weekend here in New York City. The weekend celebrations coincide with the ending of Fleet Week as well. Fleet Week is a wonderful time when various member of the Marines and U.S. Navy dock on our shores and hang out in the city alongside us.
And on that Saturday of Memorial Day weekend there are tons of activities taking place at Pier 84 on the Intrepid Museum for the entire family to enjoy. It is best to purchase your tickets early as the lines are pretty long.
Don’t miss visiting the Intrepid’s impressive Flight Deck where you’ll see a collection of fighter planes and helicopters worthy of some serious awe inspiring photos. There are also a lot of fun free activities inside of the museum which my kids enjoy.
Views from the Flight Deck
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The most prominent landmark in Zacatecas, Mexico isn’t a cathedral or a central square, it’s the rocky hump that protrudes from the La Bufa Hill and towers over the city. Cero de La Bufa and Zacatecas are inextricably linked. The hilltop was the site of the first meeting between Spanish conquistadors and indigenous Indian who inhabited the valley; later its slopes sheltered primitive Zacatecos who settled near the mines. Being one of the wealthiest towns in Mexico by virtue of its rich silver deposits, Zacatecas was a prime target for Insurgents during Mexico’s Revolutionary War, and it was from atop La Bufa that Pancho Villa accomplished the “Toma de Zacatecas” – the taking of the city in 1914.
La Bufa hill, illuminated by night, seen from the historic center of downtown Zacatecas
Today, La Bufa honors this rich history with numerous historical sites built atop the hill. On the broad, flat plateau, a small chapel is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, the Virgin Patroncinio, whose feast is Read More »
This weekend, citizens around the United States will celebrate Memorial Day. For many, it’s just another long weekend, the unofficial start of summer. For others, however, it is a time to reflect and remember those who have died while fighting in our country’s wars.
Memorial Day has been observed since 1868, when General John Logan declared May 30 as a day to decorate the graves of the war dead. This may not have been the true origin of the day, however, as other local communities were taking similar action as early as 1866.
Today, many communities hold Memorial Day observances. Our small town will hold a patriotic program consisting of music, speeches, and remembrances, and local military organizations will conduct commemorations at local cemeteries. Read More »