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Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend has so many great events that I love, but it can become a bit too one sided for the creative person.  Most travelers will only see the Highlights of the Mall, Arlington Cemetery, Rolling Thunder XXXII, and Military Bands. There is a way to sneak in the art and creativity into an itinerary that is dressed up in full military regalia.  Here are this year’s top picks to creating a perfect Memorial Day Creative Tourists Experience.

First: You have to go visit the Arlington National Cemetery.  Pay attention and you will see craftmanship throughout the cemetery. Many of the headstones have a decorative touch that is personal description of the loved one that has been buried at this spot.  You will see symbols ranging from anchors, Military Corps, Military Ranks, to Freemason symbols. Stop by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and you will have a cathartic emotional moment.  The tour bus will be crowded, and there will be standing passengers.  If you can walk the cemetery then do so.

CREATIVE HINT ONE

Second:  Do not miss a visit to the Women in  Military Service Memorial.  This can’t miss memorial is right next to Arlington Cemetery, and is actually a Museum.  Not only does this Museum show the history of women in the military you will see posters and art created by military women. I love the donated items that women created while they were in service.  These items show how the women felt about the experience of serving in the military in far off lands and at home.  If you got a young lady that is interested in joining the military then this stop is a must for her to go to.

Also, I would like to mention a few other memorials that are a must see for Memorial Day they are the following: Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial, and WWII Memorial. I like these two because they are close to the Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument. The best time of day to visit these memorials is dawn and dusk.

CREATIVE HINT TWO

Go See

This year the Smithsonian is focusing on the Vietnam War Experience with two exhibits at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  The Museum is located next to Chinatown/Gallery Place Metro Stop

Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975

“The cruel, unanswerable question of how art should respond to war is at the heart of Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975, a must-see show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.”

—Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post

Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past Is Prologue

“Here you see the personal and political meet, which is extremely moving.”

—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

 

For even more excitement here are several links to look up even more Memorial Day Activities

Rolling Thunder XXXII Schedule of Activities

National Memorial Day Concert

Memorial Day Choral Festival

National Memorial Day Parade