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Memorial Day Weekend


The start-of-summer for my family really kicks off with Memorial Day Weekend.  This is a wonderful time for family and friends to get together and celebrate our Nation’s hero.  Many people feel that Memorial Day in Washington, DC is a very  important tradition.  Of course, most travelers think that the only thing to see are the Highlights of the Mall, Arlington Cemetery, and Military Bands.  However, for those that are #Creative Traveler there is a way to sneak in the art into an itinerary that is dressed up in military colors.  Here are my top picks as to the perfect Memorial Day Creative Tourists Trip.

Arlington National Cemetery

  1. Visit Arlington National Cemetery and you will find the artist touch at every corner.  I personally love how the headstones have been meticulously lined.  And, as you are viewing the uniformed headstones out pops a decorative touch to describe the loved one that has been buried at this spot.  You will see symbols ranging from anchors, Military Corps, Military Ranks, to Freemasons.  The list of symbols is a long one.  Stop by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to see the action.  It is worth the wait, and you will walk away changed.



Quilt at Women in Military Museum

And, while you are at this location 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 have 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.  And, there is a military women register that they maintain.  If you got a young adult that is interested in joining the military then this stop is a must for her to go to.


Memorial Day Creative Art Found in War Memorials List


Visit the Marine Corps War Memorial, Iwo Jima Monument, for your photographic experience. In fact, while your noncreative family members are taking photos here’s a chance for you to practice your photography.  Take in how the sculpture manipulates light, texture, and shadows.  You will find that these memorials are more than just something to mark an occasion.  The artists that created these memorials seen throughout the National Mall were at the height of the profession.  If you dive deep into who the artist was, how they got the commission, and how they created the statue not only will you walk away with a new appreciation for the memorial you will understand a bit more about our government and history.


My next suggestion is to visit the World War II Memorial.  This one is for the creative that loves landscaping and architecture.  This photo is a great example of what this memorial does.  It tells you a story that begins with purpose, who they were, where they were from, and why they fought the war.  This story begins with your view from a distance, as you walk closer, and when you are in the middle of the memorial.  This is an excellent feature to our mall.

Also, I would like to mention these two memorials that are a must see for Memorial Day. Both the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial. I like these two because they are close the to World War II Memorial, and have won many artistic awards throughout the years.  I especially love the Vietnam War Memorial because of how personal it is.  The Korean War Veterans Memorial is lovely as it changes with the light of the day.



Exhibits Not to Be Missed on Memorial Day

Face of Battle Exhibit

Visit the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery of Art to see the exhibit “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now”  This portrait exhibit will be appreciated by both non-creatives and creatives.  I was very moved when I saw the exhibit. It really made me think about sacrifice that our families make…

Here is a blurb about the exhibit: “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now explores and assesses the human costs of ongoing wars through portraiture. The exhibition title is drawn from John Keegan’s classic military history, which reorients our view of war from questions of strategy and tactics to its personal and individual toll. Featuring fifty-six works by six artists, the exhibition includes photographs by Ashley Gilbertson, Tim Hetherington, Louie Palu, and Stacy Pearsall; site-specific installation of drawings by Emily Prince; and paintings, sculpture, and time-based media by Vincent Valdez.”

Have some creative writers or history buffs in your family.  Take them to the Newseum to view the art of the written word. This Museum is so engaging that it is worth the entrance cost. During Memorial Weekend Holiday, I suggest taking the First Amendments Highlights Tours.  The tours are scheduled to run on the hour all day long throughout the entire month of May.  The run time is 60 minutes long.


And, the National Air and Space Museum makes the list of creative things to do.  Include both the 2001: A Space Odyssey Immersive Art Exhibit  and Artist Soldiers Exhibit.  Your science geeks will get a kick out of both exhibits.  Tickets are required for 2001: A Space Odyssey Immersive Art Exhibit.

Here is a blurb about the 2001: A Space Odyssey Immersive Art Exhibit;

“Immerse yourself in “The Barmecide Feast,” a fully realized, full-scale reflection of the iconic, neo-classical hotel room from the penultimate scene of Stanley Kubrick’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s landmark film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This temporary exhibit is the centerpiece of the Museum’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Here is a blurb about Artist Soldiers Exhibit:  “This exhibition examines this form of artistic expression from two complementary perspectives. One is professional artists who were recruited by the U.S. Army, serving in the AEF.  They were the first true combat artists. The other is soldiers who created artwork. Their self-expression in the form of stone carvings in underground shelters, hidden away for a century, has been brought to light for the first time through the stunning photographs of photographer, artist, and explorer, Jeff Gusky. Together, these soldier works of art shed light on World War I in a compelling and very human way.”

Musical Interludes Celebrating Memorial Day

Can’t get enough of big bands?  Then attend the  PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert.  This free concert is held on the West Lawn of the US Capitol on Sunday, May 28 from 8 – 9″30 pm. You will see celebrities, starlets, brass sections, cymbals and more.  Go early because this popular gig gets crowded fast, and the seats are first come first serve.



Another option is to attend the National Memorial Day Choral Festival held on Saturday May 27 at  the Kennedy Center.  This is a free concert Tickets are required. Here is the blurb: “This concert features Designed to honor our nation’s veterans and fallen heroes through musical tribute, this grand concert will feature 300 singers representing choirs from throughout the United States, as they join with the United States Air Force Orchestra to foster greater attention toward and observe the true meaning of Memorial Day as a national holiday.

The program will include traditional patriotic favorites, a World War I Medley in tribute to the Centennial Commemoration, “Jupiter” from Holst’s The Planets, Copland’s The Promise of Living, “Agnus Dei” from the Fauré RequiemWho Are the Brave?Hymn to the FallenThe Battle Hymn of the Republic, plus more!”

Tony Craddock Jr. & Cold Front

The National Gallery of Art celebrates Jazz every Friday throughout the summer.  Tony Craddock Jr. & Cold Front will be playing on Friday 25th from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  Mr. Craddock Jr. was born in raised in Northern Virginia.  And, it is the guy that does the weather on Channel 8.

Here is his blurb: “Tony Craddock, Jr. is a contemporary and inspirational jazz saxophonist who connects the sight, sound, and stories of weather with life experiences to encourage people and unify communities.  His sophomore album Convection threads the wonder of weather into the narrative of each song, illustrating how the natural power of convection is activated within us when our convictions motivate us to live purposefully. “When you read a novel, you don’t take it at face value; you dig deeper to find out what the author is really communicating.  I would like for people to approach my music with the same attitude of discovery in mind,” said Craddock.
Convection (2013) and Christmas in the Air (2011) put Tony’s imagination front and center as a saxophonist, songwriter, producer, and arranger. Award-winning jazz guitarist Ken Navarro appears on Convection, along with gospel covers of “You Brought the Sunshine” and “Let It Rise.” Both albums are aired on Pandora Radio, and Christmas in the Air was aired on The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s”. Christmas in the Air also garnered 50 spins on terrestrial and online radio stations. Tony is currently recording his third studio project, which will communicate how solutions to the intercultural communication challenges of our time are hiding in plain sight, within the world of weather.”