Memorial Day is treated as a holiday, and always on the last Monday in May, for a three-day weekend that’s viewed widely as the unofficial start to summer.
This day also is an observance, an occasion to remember heroes: every person who died in military service to the United States of America, all around the world.
A chronicle by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shows Decoration Day, a time to put flowers on the graves of personnel who died in the Civil War, was begun by the Grand Army of the Republic on May 30, 1868, barely three years after the war’s end, and the first large observance occurred at Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia, near Washington, D.C.
Various places already had started traditions of observances in the mid-1860s, VA records show, such as in Boalsburg, Pa.; Carbondale, Ill.; Columbus and Macon, Ga.; Columbus, Miss.; Richmond, Va.; and Waterloo, N.Y., which a century later, was declared by Congress and President Lyndon Johnson as the “birthplace” of Memorial Day, which was named a national holiday by Congress in 1971.
Information at History.com also states that the Civil War’s aftermath prompted the establishment of national cemeteries, and that during World War I, the depth of Decoration Day evolved and expanded to remember U.S. service personnel who perished in all wars.
So, at Myrtle Beach’s annual Memorial Day weekend parade among a Saturday full of “Military Appreiciation Days” activities, or at many other get-togethers and more solemn observances across the Grand Strand, don’t forget to salute everyone – whether in yourt heart or through a prayer or other means of remembrance, even for someone you never knew or never could have known – who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
If you go – Saluting service personnel
• 5K Run, 7:30 a.m. Saturday, on Ocean Boulevard from Plyler Park, at Mr. Joe White Avenue, and including the boardwalk –free for military (active duty, reserves and veterans), otherwise $20.
• Memorial Day weekend parade, with Montel Williams, Marine and Navy veteran and former talk show host, as grand marshal, 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard, from 27th Avenue North southward to Ninth Avenue North.
• Family Picnic, noon-2 p.m. Saturday, on Ocean Boulevard, with military exhibits, children’s activities, concert by Andrew Thielen Big Band, and meet-and-greet with Montel Williams. Free meals from Omar Shriners chefs for all military personnel and veterans, and their families
• Veterans Beard & ’Stache Beach Bash, on Saturday, for veterans, with such categories as Full Beard, Corporate Beard, Partial Beard (Chops, Goatees, Chin Straps),’Stache, Long Beard, Long ’Stache, Epic Beard, and for all women – even those who are not veterans – Ladies’ Faux. Email email@example.com to sign up, and register formally 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. that day at “Beard Table,” then judging starts at 12:30 p.m.
• Memorial Day Ceremony, with Grand Strand Patriotic Alliance, 11 a.m. Monday at Myrtle Beach Convention Center plaza, on Oak Street at 21st Avenue North. Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach also will perform a mini-concert 10:30-11 a.m.
• Second annual “Memorial Day Tribute,” 2 p.m. Monday at Grand 14 Cinema, at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach. Free. Includes public recognition of veterans and active duty military, a performance of patriotic music, a color guard presentation, and screening of documentary film produced by Rod Gragg, “Lions in Blue & Gray: Joshua Chamberlain and Stonewall Jackson,” a dual biography of two Civil War generals: Joshua L. Chamberlain and Stonewall Jackson, from the Union and Confederacy, respectively. Reach theater at 282-0550.
• Local History Digitization Project: Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, Phase I, sign up for drawing to win time-capsule package, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday at Myrtle Beach’s Chapin Memorial Library, 400 14th Ave. N. (918-1275 or www.chapinlibrary.org). Also: visit catalog.chapinlibrary.org/polaris/ and change the search format to “digital collection.”
Other events for Memorial Day
• May 23 – “Jarhead” (Gulf War setting)
• May 30 – “Battle: Los Angeles” (imaginary end to world war)
• “Fore the Pups We Putt Golf Tournament,” 9 a.m. Saturday at Rivers Edge Golf Plantation in Shallotte, N.C., for $80 per person (checks due May 10, made out to Canine Angels, and mailed to Josie McGahn, 950 Meadowlands Trail, Calabash, NC 28467). Details at 609-576-2303.
• “Dine, Dance, and Party” with the pups, 6-10 p.m. May 29 at Castano’s Italian Steakhouse, in Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach, for $38, including three-course meal from choice of four special menu entrees, live music, prizes and auctions. 910-398-7850.
• Dedication of new flag pole, with retired Lt. Col. Gordon Coulson, from Committee to Honor America’s Veterans
• National anthem performed by Linda Ladrick
• Keynote speech by U.S. Rep. Michael McIntyre
• Playing of memorial wreath by Boy Scout Troop 201
• Playing of taps, by Steven Baker, and Ben Simmons, trumpeter from West Brunswick High School
Easy Escapes, in the Carolinas
‘WORLD WAR II: A LOCAL ARTIST’S PERSPECTIVE’
• Through October – scenes from Normandy, France
• Starting in November – watercolors painted in Germany
If you watch
What | 25th annual “National Memorial Day Concert”