• Memorial Day – Celebrate a Salute to Our Troops

    Michelle Hamilton
    Memorial Day–Parades honoring our troops, block parties, American Flags flying, picnics–what images come to mind for you?  Around the United States, celebrations abound with the usual variety emblematic of our marvelously diverse culture. American Flag

    Let’s start in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.  Here are just a few of the special happenings for Memorial Day weekend.

    Rolling Thunder, an annual motorcycle rally begun during the Vietnam War era draws approximately 900,000 participants and spectators. The event kicks off with a Candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Friday, May 24th at 9 p.m. and ends with the Rolling Thunder ride through downtown Washington on Sunday, May 26th.  For history and additional information go to http://dc.about.com/od/specialevents/a/RollingThunder.htm.

    The National Memorial Day Concert presented by the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol occurs this year on Sunday, May 26th at 8 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m., so pack a picnic, grab family and friends, and enjoy a patriotic musical performance with Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, your hosts for a star studded evening. Special guests include General Colin Powell (USA retired), actor Ed Harris, Dancing with the Stars finalist Chris Mann and many others. This event is free, and no tickets are required.  For more information, go to www.pbs.org/memorialdayconcert. If a trip to Washington D.C. isn’t an option for you this year, enjoy the concert on television via PBS.  Check your local PBS listings for the broadcast time/date in your area.

    If you’re looking for a little southwestern flavor, let’s take a look at what’s going on in Austin, TX this weekend.  They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and the list of special events for Memorial Day is no exception!  Just take a look at this site, http://austin.culturemap.com/events/.

    Free Shakespeare in the Park is being held Thursday, May 23rd through Sunday, May 26th at 8 p.m. each night. Presenting The Winter’s Tale, William Shakespeare’s jealousy and joy-filled romance, the City of Austin, Austin Parks and Recreational Department and the Zilker Hillside Theatre stage the story in Latin America, complete with tango and a Brazilian Carnival. Ole!  Check out the details at http://austin.culturemap.com/eventdetail/free-shakespeare-park-i-winters-talei/.

    How about something unusual for children? Free Kid’s Club is screening Forbidden Planet. Saturday, May 25th at noon, head to the Alamo Drafthouse – Ritz at 320 East 6th Street in Austin for this feature film with terrifying monsters, bright lights, edgy psychoanalysis and engaging subject matter for both the young and old. Get the scoop at http://austin.culturemap.com/eventdetail/free-kids-club-presents-iforbidden-planeti/.

    North, south, east and west, more solemn remembrances will take place at our National Cemeteries over Memorial Day. Millions of American Flags will be placed at the graves of our fallen heroes by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, other volunteer organizations and concerned citizens nationwide.  These awe-inspiring fields of flags serve to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. For a list of National Cemeteries by state, visit http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/listcem.asp.

    Whether this year’s Memorial Day includes travel or a stay-cation, take a moment to remember our military and their families both past and present who give so much to preserve our freedom

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