Memorial Day in the Nation’s Capital 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
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National Cathedral “Blessing of the Bikes”
Friday, May 24 | 5:00 p.m.

As part of its ongoing Veterans Initiative, the Washington National Cathedral will welcome members of Rolling Thunder on Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m. ET, for its annual “Blessing of the Bikes” ceremony on the Cathedral’s cobblestone Walker Court.
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VVA on the Mall
Saturday, May 25 – Sunday, May 26 | All Day

This Memorial Day Weekend, visit the Vietnam Veterans of America outreach tent on the Mall near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
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National Cathedral Service
Sunday, May 26 | 11:15 a.m.

The Cathedral will conduct a national service on Sunday, May 26, at 11:15 a.m., to commemorate the honor and bravery of those who have died serving our Armed Forces. The Washington National Cathedral is located at 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Walker Court, in the District of Columbia.
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Rolling Thunder XXXII, Final “Ride for Freedom”
Sunday, May 26 | 12:00 Noon

The Annual Ride for Freedom will bring together motorcycle riders for one final time to honor POWs and MIAs who served their country during the Vietnam War. Riders will begin assembling in the North Pentagon Parking lot at 8:00 a.m. At 12:00 noon the ride will begin, traveling from Virginia across the Memorial Bridge, through Washington, D.C., to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where respects will be paid to those memorialized on The Wall who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms. This will be the final Thunder Run in D.C., so if you have always wanted to attend, this is your last chance.
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National Memorial Day Concert
Sunday, May 26 | 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET

On Sunday, May 26, PBS will unite our nation with an evening that honors the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home, and all of those who have given their lives for our country. The Memorial Day Concert will be hosted by Joe Mantegna, Gary Sinese, and General Colin Powell. It will be broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, May 26, 2019, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET; rpt. 10:00-11:30 p.m. (check local listings).
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150th National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery
Monday, May 27 | 11:00 a.m.

The U.S. Army Military District of Washington will conduct a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-laying Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to be followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Defense in Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater. A prelude by the United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m. Plan to arrive early. Attendees are encouraged to be at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or seated in the amphitheater by 9:30 a.m.
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In Memory Plaque Rededication Ceremony
Monday, May 27 | 10:00 a.m.

The In Memory Plaque repair is complete, and a rededication ceremony is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Memorial Day. In 2004, The In Memory Plaque was dedicated as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site. The plaque reads: “In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.” Over the years, the plaque’s design was deemed to be inadequate, and the repair in now complete.
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Annual Memorial Day Observance at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Monday, May 27 | 1:00 p.m.

On Monday, May 27, at 1:00 p.m., thousands of veterans and their families will congregate at The Wall to remember and honor those who served in the U.S. armed forces. This year’s keynote speakers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ceremonies in Washington, DC, are Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Sharon Bannister, U.S. Air Force, and Rebecca Rusch, American endurance athlete, author, activist.

2019 National Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 27 | 2:00 p.m.

The National Memorial Day Parade, with marching bands, floats, and performers, is scheduled for May 27 at 2:00 p.m. Starting at the corner of Constitution Avenue and Seventh Streets NW, Washington, D.C., the parade will proceed west down Constitution Avenue past the White House and ending at 17th Street NW. To watch the parade live, see the list of local stations nationwide:

Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial
May 25-28, 2019 | 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For the sixth consecutive year, the nonprofit Mindful Memorial Day Foundation will bring the “Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial,” to the Women’s Memorial. Created to honor fallen warriors through mindfulness, the “Fallen Warrior Ribbon Memorial” includes 6,958 yellow ribbons in remembrance of our fallen warriors from these current wars. Visitors are encouraged to take a ribbon and offer a prayer or meditation in remembrance of a fallen warrior. The goal is that every ribbon is claimed and every fallen warrior is remembered.
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Women’s Memorial Ceremony
May 27, 2019 | 4:00 p.m.

The Women’s Memorial 22nd Annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 4 p.m., May 27, 2019. The ceremony, one of the major Memorial Day programs in the nation’s capital, is free and open to the public. In addition to formal military honors and a keynote address, the program will include remarks from past and present military women representing each of the services and the Memorial’s signature event, the scattering of rose petals in tribute to departed comrades. Members of the public are invited to join in the personal tribute segment of the program.

Memorial Day Writers Project
May 27, 2019 | 11:30 a.m.

The Memorial Day Writers Project will hold its 24th biannual open mic event for veterans and friends of veterans on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, starting at 11:30 a.m. The event is open to the public with every reader of poetry or prose—along with singers and story tellers—given up to ten minutes at the microphone. Authors are encouraged to bring copies of their books to sign and sell.

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