Monday is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember and honor those who gave died while serving in the military. Observances and celebrations are planned throughout Southern Maryland this weekend, but first, let’s take a look at this history of this holiday.
The day was first known as Decoration Day and began after the Civil War. By the late 1860s, according to the History Channel, towns and cities across the country had begun hosting tributes to the fallen each spring. And while it’s unknown exactly where the tradition of a memorial day began, the federal government declared Waterloo, NY, the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966 because of its annual community-wide celebration that began in 1866.
Decoration Day was first observed to honor those who died during military service in the Civil War. During World War I, however, the meaning of the day shifted to honor all who died during military service. In 1971, the federal government declared Memorial Day a national holiday. A moment of silence is held across the country at 3 p.m.
Here’s where you can honor the fallen on Memorial Day in Southern Maryland.
Stars and Stripes Festival, Chesapeake Beach
The Town of Chesapeake Beach will host the Stars and Stripes Festival this weekend. The event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, May 26, Veterans’ Memorial Park, intersection of routes 260 and 261 in Chesapeake Beach: Opening ceremony at 10 a.m. featuring musical selections by the U.S. Naval Academy Band Wind Quintet “The Navy’s Oldest and Finest,” patriotic selections by Dana & Jeremy, and keynote speaker Dr. Hal “Toby” Raper portraying President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Later in the afternoon on Saturday, Dr. Raper will portray FDR during a reception at Mamma Lucia on the Bay.
Sunday, May 27, Kellam’s Field, Stinnett Avenue in Chesapeake Beach: Stars and Stripes Family Fun Day, which includes free arts and crafts, games, and moon bounces for the kids. Visit the nonprofit tent to learn more about local organizations and organizations that focus in military personnel and their families. The festival lasts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Events include a non-motorized parade at 11 a.m.; “A Musical Salute to America’s Military with Spam Time” at noon; and a surprise “Blusion” band will perform at 1:30 p.m. The American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206 will host a free community picnic lunch at noon, while supplies last.
Monday, May 28, Veterans’ Memorial Park, intersection of routes 260 and 261 in Chesapeake Beach: Memorial Day Ceremony begins at 10 a.m., hosted by the American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206. An open house at the legion’s post, 3330 Chesapeake Beach Road in Chesapeake Beach, follows.
Memorial Day Ceremony, Waldorf
VFW Post 8810 in Waldorf will host a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 28, at noon. An open house will follow. The event takes place at the VFW, 2310 Old Washington Road in Waldorf.
Memorial Day Ceremony, La Plata
American Legion Post 82 in La Plata will host a Memorial Day Ceremony on Wednesday, May 30, at 11 a.m. at its post, 6330 Crain Highway in La Plata. Additional parking is available at Sacred Heart Church, and the Town of La Plata will run a shuttle from the church to the parking lot, with runs before the ceremony at 10:15 a.m. and 10:40 a.m.
Memorial Day Remembrance, Deale
The Deale Area Historical Society hosts a Memorial Day Remembrance on Monday, May 28, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Cedar Grove Methodist Church, 5965 Deale Churchton Road in Deale. The event features Voices In Praise from Friendship Methodist Church, Boy Scout Troop #853, the Joint Base Andrews Honor Guard, Guest Speaker Del. Seth Howard, and a photo display of local veterans and memorabilia.
Blue Star Museum Program Begins at Historic St. Mary’s City
Historic St. Mary’s City joins more than 2,000 other Blue Star Museums across the country offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families this summer. The program runs from Saturday, May 26, through Labor Day, which is Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.
Free admission is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps – and up to five family members.
For a list of participating institutions, visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.
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