There’s no better time than Memorial Day to visit the monuments and national memorials of Washington DC, when the capital honors veterans. The Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the busy summer season in the capital region, with a full schedule of family friendly events, concerts and other summer programs.
Memorial Day in DC has become synonymous with an extraordinary event: The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally, honoring Vietnam Vets. What started as a humble motorcycle procession by Vietnam Vets has grown into a commemorative chopper extravaganza, with thousands of bikers somberly cruising Washington. Departs from the Pentagon Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12 p.m. Speaker Program and Musical Tribute: 1:30 p.m. at the Reflecting Pool across from The Lincoln Memorial. Rolling Thunder also visits the Navy Memorial where it holds a wreath-laying ceremony.
On Sunday, May 27, 2012, 8 p.m. PBS sponsors the National Memorial Day Concert, a free event, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The concert features actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, and other guest artists, along with the National Symphony Orchestra.
The National Memorial Day Parade marches on Monday, May 28, 2012, beginning at 2 p.m. This year’s Parade honors soldiers that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. The parade of Marching Bands and Veterans units commences at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW and proceeds along Constitution Avenue, past the White House, ending at 17th Street.
On Memorial Day soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment will be joined by members of the U.S. Marine Corps Ceremonial and Guard Company, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard in placing more than 250,000 flags at Arlington National Cemetery.
Other Memorial Day Activities include a wreath-laying ceremony and concert held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 28, 2012, 11 a.m., and Navy, Air Force, Vietnam, and World War II ceremonies held in various venues around DC.
The GI Film Festival (May 14-20, 2012) runs annually before Memorial Day weekend. A celebration of the American Armed Forces in film. Presented by award-winning Hollywood actors and directors.
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