The holiday weekend is upon us! You’ve made plans, you’re ready to hit the road (even with those crazy gas prices) and head out on a great adventure, or maybe you’ll check out some serious sales that have been advertised or maybe relaxing with friends and family is just the ticket. Whatever it is, there is a long weekend ahead of us and it’s all thanks to several former Union Army servicemen that got together over 150 years ago to commemorate those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And really, that is what the weekend is all about.
Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, observed the very first Memorial Day on May 30, 1868, and was originally called Decoration Day. Over twenty thousand Union and Confederate soldiers' graves were decorated with either flowers, wreaths or flags by 5,000 volunteers. The tradition swept through the nation.
Today we recognize the last Monday of May in honor of our soldiers that have served in every American War. A flag is placed at every tombstone and either the President or Vice President attends the annual ceremony where they lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
The Presidio of San Francisco will be holding their 154th Memorial day event. It is one of the largest in the country attracting over 2,000 people.The formal event begins at 11am with a 4-gun salute, wreath laying ceremony. Volunteers including scouts plant flags at 26,000 servicemen and women's grave sites a day before the event, decorating the tombs just as they have always done 150 years ago.
If you haven’t attended a Memorial Day service this is a beautiful place to do so! The site overlooks our beautiful Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The ceremony itself pays great honor to all our soldiers, creating the perfect time to reflect and say hello.