Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Events

Our Opinions
We started our Memorial Day activities with the concert at the Capitol. The Union Station metro stop was a half hour walk from the concert venue, which was a litter further than we expected. However, it was good for us to experience Union Station because it DC's most awesome train station. During the thirty minute walk we had a beautiful view of the Capitol, which guided us to our concert seats. We were directed through a security check right when we got there. Tons of people covered the West Lawn so our seats were pretty far away from the stage. Bringing a blanket was a great idea since we could relax and enjoy the music. Our favorite performer was Kris Allen and he sang "Proud to be an American".

Kris Allen's performance 

The concert got a little slow because there weren't a lot of singers but we were touched by the stories of war veterans in between each song. The concert gave us a great opportunity to sit on the lawn of the nation's capitol and feel proud to be an American.

What an awesome concert venue!

The National Mall was chaotic on Memorial Day! We visited the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the WWII Memorial. There were tons of Vets at each Memorial, especially the WWII memorial. There were even guides to lead the Vets from memorial to memorial and make sure they got the honor they deserved. Overall, we had a good time observing the Memorial Day activities and respecting those who fought for our country. 

Memorial Day

National Memorial Day Concert 
The Memorial Day Concert is held every memorial day weekend to honor the service and sacrifice of those who serve for our country. It's on Sunday, May 29th on the West Lawn of the Capitol at 8 pm. The concert is especially meaningful this year, since it will commemorate the 10th year since September 11th and the 70th year since Pearl Harbor. It'll be hosted by actor Gary Sinise, and performers include Kris Allen, B.B. King, Forest Whitaker, Pia Toscano, and the National Symphony Orchestra (just to name a few). The gates open to the public at 5:00; the concert is free and tickets aren't necessary.

National Memorial Day Parade
The National Memorial Day Parade is an annual parade that takes place in Washington DC.  It is presented by the American Veterans Center and honors those who have served our country.  Before the parade was established, Memorial Day was beginning to lose its meaning among United States civilians.  In order to restore tradition and remembrance of those who served, the American Veterans Center started the parade in 2005 and has occurred every year on Memorial Day Weekend since then.  People of all ages come to participate in the parade in order to recognize and thank the heroes of war, as well as remembering those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.  The parade starts at 2:00 pm on Monday, May 30th.

World War II Memorial 
World War II Memorial is one of the newer monuments on the National Mall in Washington DC, and is dedicated to the 16 million Americans who served in the forces during World War II. It was opened to the public for the first time on April 29th, 2004. The Memorial consists of 56 pillars, which represent the states and territories at the time of the war, and it us a great place to pay your respects to World War II veterans. The memorial represents an important symbol of American national unity, and is a timeless reminder of strength and power. On Monday, May 30th at 9 a.m. the National Park Service will sponsor a wreath laying ceremony in honor of our veterans. Guest speakers will give statements and many of the surviving World War II veterans will be in attendance. 

Admission Price: FREE
Time: Memorial Day Weekend
Location: National Mall, DC
Transportation: Concert - metro accessible from Union Station (Red Line) and Federal Center SW (Blue/Orange Line)
Our Rating: ★★★★★