Sadly, many Americans forget the real reason for Memorial Day. It is not the unofficial start of summer. It is a day for honoring and remembering the military personnel who died while serving in the Armed Forces (Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force).
Forget traveling to the shore. Visit one of the many museums or memorials honoring those who gave their lives so we could enjoy our summers. In every state you can find a memorial dedicated to WWi, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Golf War, and even the War on Trrorism.
Below you will find several places you should consider visiting on Memorial Day instead of vacationing at the beach. Honor our fallen heroes by remembering their sacrifices. It’s time for us to start remembering what this holiday is all about. Forget all the sales, BBQs, and shore vacations. Start honoring those who gave all.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia is 639 acres and is the burial place of many war time veterans. Today, there are approximately 400,000 graves located within Arlington National Cemetery. Service members started getting buried here back in 1864 and houses many heroes from the Civil War up to the current war.
Seeing all the graves, really puts things in perspective. You really get a feel for what your freedom costs. You don’t just have to visit Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. You can and should visit whenever you are in the area and stop and pay your respects.
USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor Hawaii, marks the final resting place of 1,102 Marines and Sailors who were killed aboard the USS Arizona in the early morning hours of December 7, 1941.
Marine Corps War Memorial
The Marine Corps War Memorial or Iwo Jima Monument outside of Arlington National Cemetery is dedicated to all the Marines who gave their lives in defense of the US since 1775.
National WWII Museum – New Orleans
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is the official Museum of World War II. The museum’s mission “tells the story of the American experience – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.”
National World War I Museum – Kansas City, Missouri
The National World War I museum in Kansas City, Missouri is the only public museum dedicated to the Great War. Outside the museum is a 217 feet high pillar, which was one of the earliest monuments (1926) made to honor those who died in World War I
Washington, DC is full of Memorials of all kinds. In the next couple of years two more memorials should be finding their way on the National Mall. The Global War on Terrorism Memorial is planned to honor those who served during the longest war in American history. The National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial is also planned to be built in DC.
World War II Memorial
Korean War Memorial
Valley Forge National Memorial Arch
The National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, commemorates General George Washington and his troops who camped here during the Revolutionary War.
No matter where you live you can find a veteran cemetery near you. You can check out this link and click on your state to find the one closest to you.
Many veteran cemeteries are always looking for volunteers to help around Memorial Day to place flags at all the graves. This is a great way to help pay your respect to the fallen service members.
Memorials near you
Most major cities and even bigger towns have different memorials dedicated to local heroes who died while serving in the armed forces. In the county I live in, their is a memorial for the Global War on Terrorism and even pictures up of those who died that lived in the county.
You can also find memorials for all the major wars too. You can usually always find a memorial dedicated to the Korean War and Vietnam War in cities and towns across the country. Sometimes they are easy to find. Other times you just have to do a quick Google search.
No matter where you go local or a little further away. You should skip the beach and remember what this holiday is really about. Remember the fallen who gave their lives so you can enjoy yours.
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