memorial day observances
(Photo: US Army, Alex Sebby)

By Julie Provost

For military families, Memorial Day holds special significance. It’s the day our nation has set aside to remember those who have lost their lives while serving in the military. From those who fought for our country hundreds of years ago to those who have joined up to serve after September 11, we remember who they were and what they did to help protect the price of freedom. Here are some Memorial Day events near bases around the US:

1. Truman San Diego Memorial Day Rose Ceremony, California

Join the Truman Center for National Policy and the Truman National Security Project San Diego chapter for the third annual sunrise rose drop. The distribution of 45,000 roses will take place on May 29 at 5:30 AM at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive in San Diego. There will be a program beforehand where participants can share their story about a friend or loved one who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

2. The Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day celebration, California

Later that day, there will be the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day celebration at 10 AM. This ceremony is put on by the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day committee which is made up of war veteran organizations, their auxiliaries, and patriotic groups. This ceremony has been going on for 100 years, and this year, Major General Daniel J. O’Donohue is the speaker.

3. Puyallup Memorial Day Observance, Washington

This ceremony will be at the Pavillion in Pioneer Park on May 28 at 1 PM. “Alfie” Alvarado, the Washington State Director of Veterans Affairs, will be the guest speaker. The music will be by the Rogers High School Wind Ensemble, the Ferrucci J.H.S String Ensemble, and the Clan Gordon Pipe Band. The Pavillion is at 330 S. Meridian in Puyallup, near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

4. Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society Memorial Day Commemoration, Colorado

This commemoration by the Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society is on May 29 from 9:30 AM to 12 PM at the Evergreen Cemetery Historic Chapel, located at 1005 Hancock Expressway in Colorado Springs. There will be historical World War I and World War II displays and more. This is close to the Fort Carson/Peterson AFB area.

5. Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony, Texas

If you live in or near Fort Hood, this Memorial Day ceremony will be on May 29 at 8 AM at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. This will be in Killeen, TX by Fort Hood and is at 11463 State Highway 195. The ceremony will honor and pay tribute to veterans from central Texas that lost their lives during military conflicts.

6. 2017 Memorial Day Ceremony, Florida

The 2017 Memorial Day Ceremony is on May 29 at 9 AM at the Veterans Memorial Wall to honor Jacksonville’s fallen heroes.

7. Jacksonville National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony, Florida

This ceremony is also in Jacksonville. It will be on May 27 at 10 AM at the Jacksonville National Cemetery.

8. The National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, D.C.

This parade is held along Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C. This event is very popular and draws hundreds of thousands of people to the National Mall every year. You will see a moving timeline of American military history from the American Revolution to modern times. The parade will happen May 29 at 2 PM.

9. The National Memorial Day Concert, Washington, D.C.

This popular concert will be on May 28 at 8 PM on the grounds of the US Capitol. The gates open at 5 PM and there will be dramatic readings, documentary footage, and live musical performances. Dignitaries, actors, and musical artists will also be there. The concert will air live on PBS.

10. National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia

The Memorial day observance at Arlington will happen May 29, and if you plan to go, get there by 9:30 AM. You will need to go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There will be a Presidential Armed Forces full honors wreath-laying ceremony followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Defense.

11. Memorial Day Celebration, Virginia

The Memorial Day Celebration at Victory Arch is on May 29 beginning at 11 AM. This will be sponsored by American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post #25. This will be at the Victory Arch at 25th Street & West Avenue in Newport News. This is near Fort Eustis as well as other military bases.

12. Memorial Day Ceremony, Kentucky/Tennessee

This Memorial Day ceremony is near Fort Campbell and will begin at 10 AM on May 29 at William O Beach Civic Hall Veterans Plaza in Clarksville. The 101st Airborne Division color guard and bugler will be there to remember those who died in service for their country. The keynote address will be by Major (Retired) Arthur Stull, US Army Chaplain.

13. Spring Lake Memorial Day Ceremony, North Carolina

This Spring Lake Memorial Day ceremony will happen May 29 beginning at 10 AM at Veterans Park in Spring Lake. Gather together with the community to pay respects to the brave men and women we have lost.

14. Memorial Day 2017 and Blue Star Memorial Dedication, Missouri

Hosted by the Missouri Veterans Cemetery at Fort Leonard Wood, this event will be at 25350 Highway H in Waynesville. This will take place May 29 at 1 PM. There will also be a dedication of the Blue Star Memorial by the Sun Bonnet Garden Club in Lebanon with support from local veterans groups.

15. Salute to Service Memorial Day Concert, South Carolina

This concert is hosted by Budweiser and will be May 29 beginning at 2:30 PM at 1001 Everglades Dr. in North Charleston, near Joint Base Charleston. This concert will honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes. Lee Brice, A Thousand Horses, Logan Mize, Dalton and the Sheriffs, and DJ Natty Heavy will be performing.

Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at