DC Memorial Day is the center of the festivities on this important national holiday. As it is the nation's capital, the country looks to Washington DC for the important events commemorating those who have served in the nation's armed forces. Memorial Day in Washington DC combines the sober with the festive: The country's most important Memorial Day service is held at Arlington cemetery, while there is also a National Memorial Day Concert, the National Memorial Day Parade, a motorcycle rally, and more.
DC Memorial Day
On Sunday, the Washington DC Memorial Day weekend kicks off with the National Memorial Day Concert, located on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. This concert is in the open air, and is free to all who choose to stop and listen. The National Memorial Day Concert is sponsored and broadcast live by PBS. It features American celebrities from movies and television, as well as a host of well known musical talents. The National Symphony Orchestra performs a selection of classic pieces, and there are also military bands and choruses, pop and country artists, interspersed with commentary and testimonies about those who have sacrificed their lives or their loved ones in war. The performance is a moving and poignant way to celebrate Memorial Day in Washington DC.
The National Memorial Day Parade is another widely anticipated event on DC Memorial Day. The parade takes place on Monday afternoon on Constitution Avenue and is presented by the American Veterans' Center, who revived the parade after a long hiatus of 70 years. The National Memorial Day Parade is now one of the most popular events of the year, drawing crowds of over a quarter million. The parade is a great way to say thank you to veterans, and many service members and veterans of armed conflicts participate in the parade. Don't miss the musical performances by military bands, and elaborately decorated floats carrying, appropriately, some of the most decorated living heroes in the country.
For a quieter, meaningful experience of Memorial Day 2016 in Washington DC, the Arlington Cemetery Memorial Day Service may be what you are looking for. Arlington National Cemetery has more than 330,000 servicemen buried on its grounds. The week before Memorial Day, members of the US Armed Forces place American flags on each of the graves. On Monday of Memorial Day weekend, a service is held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to remember all who gave their lives in past wars. The service also includes a concert and a wreath-laying ceremony.
One of the most memorable sights you may see at DC Memorial Day 2016 is the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally. On Sunday, thousands of veterans will ride their motorcycles through the streets of Washington, in a demonstration not only to remember the dead, but also to draw the government's attention to issues of those who are held as prisoners of war, or are missing in action. The roaring of the engines is an unforgettable tribute to those who served their country in war.