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
SIXTH ANNUAL ‘MILITARY APPRECIATION DAYS’
By | City of Myrtle Beach and PGBA Inc.
When | All of May
Special events include |
• 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.”
Information | 918-1014 or www.militaryappreciationdays.com
Other events for Memorial Day
MEMORIAL DAY GRAVESIDE SERVICES
By | Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10420, based at 4359 U.S. 17 Bypass, Murrells Inlet
When | 9 a.m. Friday
Where | Belin Memorial United Methodist Church, 4182 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet
Also | Sales of memorial bricks for $50 each to honor anyone – even someone who’s not a veteran or Veterans of Foreign Wars member – for grounds around the granite, which salutes 109 service personnel from South Carolina who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan in the war on terror. Post’s memorial rededication services planned for noon Memorial Day, May 26 – Its initial dedication was on Veterans Day 2013. Call 222-2791.
Information | 651-6900 or 770-842-0883
What | Military themed movies for adults, during “Military Appreciation Days”
What and when | 1:30 -3:30 p.m. Fridays:
• May 23 – “Jarhead” (Gulf War setting)
• May 30 – “Battle: Los Angeles” (imaginary end to world war)
Where | Myrtle Beach’s Chapin Memorial Library, 400 14th Ave. N., at Kings Highway
How much | Free, with ticket from front desk
Information | 918-1275 or www.chapinlibrary.org
CANINE ANGELS BENEFITS
Benefiting | Canine Angels, a North Myrtle Beach nonprofit that rescues dogs and trains them for use by veterans with disabilities
What and when |
• “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.
Information | 917-575-6235 or www.canineangelsservicedogs.org
‘MEMORIAL SATURDAY MUSIC & COOKOUT’
With | music by Stringwood and by Laidback Larry
When | noon-6 p.m. Saturday
Where | La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, just west of North Myrtle Beach Middle School
How much | $3, or free with donation of two canned/dry food items for local food banks
Information | 399-9463 or www.labelleamie.com
MEMORIAL DAY COOKOUT
By | Town of Surfside Beach
When | 4-8 p.m. Sunday
Where | Surfside Pier
Also | Memorial Day Service, 2:30 p.m. Monday in town’s Passive Park with veterans memorial, at Surfside and Willow drives, by front of Horry County Memorial Library Surfside Beach branch.
How much | Free
Information | 650-9548 or www.surfsidebeach.org
MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATION
By | Brunswick County Parks & Recreation
What | Honoring local veterans
With | Retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. Cris Cabingas
When | 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where | In Rourk Gardens, on Main Street in Shallotte, N.C., across from Jerome’s Steak & Seafood
How much | Free
Information | 910-253-2031 or www.brunswickcountync.gov/Portals/0/BC/files/parksandrec/BBC-042514-Y-4.pdf
MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY
When | 9:30 a.m. Monday
Where | Sunset Beach, N.C., Town Park, on Sunset Boulevard
• 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
Information | 910-579-6297
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE
By | North Myrtle Beach Memorial Gardens, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10804, American Legion Post 186, the Ladies Auxiliary in Myrtle Beach, the Knights of Columbus from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, and the Grand Strand Gold Star Mothers.
When | 11 a.m. Monday
Where | North Myrtle Beach Memorial Gardens, at U.S. 17, S.C. 9, S.C. 90 and Nixon Crossroads
With | Music by the Myrtle Beach Regional Pipe Band, at 10:30 a.m.
Information | 249-2932
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE
By | Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 925 Grand Strand
When | 11 a.m. Monday
Where | Old Horry County Courthouse lawn, on Third Avenue in downtown Conway
Including | Reading of names at Vietnam War monument, and sing-along to “God Bless America”
Information | 492-0005 or www.vva925.org
JAZZ CONCERT BENEFIT
By | Stephanie Trick-Alderighi, pianist
Benefiting | Help A Veteran, a nonprofit organization assisting veterans with special needs, and Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center of Little River
When | 1-4 p.m. May 31
Where | Grand Strand Senior Center, 1268 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach
How much | $15 individual, or two for $25
Information | 222-0718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Easy Escapes, in the Carolinas
‘WORLD WAR II: A LOCAL ARTIST’S PERSPECTIVE’
What | More than 70 sketches, watercolors and gouaches of European landscapes, towns, and bridges painted by Henry Jay MacMillan (1908-91), an Army veteran
When | through April 25, 2015:
• Through October – scenes from Normandy, France
• Starting in November – watercolors painted in Germany
Where | Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, 814 Market St., Wilmington, N.C.
Open | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and through Aug. 30, 1-5 p.m. Sundays
How much | Free with museum admission: $7 adults; $6 students, seniors, and military with ID; $4 ages 6-17; and free ages 5 and younger
Also | “A View from Space” exhibit, through Sept. 7, by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, free with admission
Information | 910-798-4362 or www.capefearmuseum.com
Traveling | Wilmington, N.C., is less than a two-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, north on U.S. 17 through Brunswick County. Get details from the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau: 910-341-4030, 877-406-2356 or www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com.
49TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY
When | 5:45 p.m. Monday
With | N.C. Gov. Governor Pat McCrory; Brig. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, commanding general, Marine Corps installations, East/commander, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, as keynote speaker; music by 440th N.C., Army National Guard Band; and a 21-gun salute
How much | Free
Where | Battleship North Carolina, at U.S. Routes 17, 74, 76 and 421 in Wilmington, N.C.
How much | Free for this event
Ship open | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (and until 8 p.m. May 23-Sept. 1, for $12 ages 12 and older; $10 ages 65 and older, and active duty or retired military with ID; $6 ages 6-11; and free ages 5 and younger – group rates also available
‘VIETNAM-ERA VETERANS HONOR CEREMONY’
For | Vietnam War-era veterans statewide
With | U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, host; retired Marine Corps Maj. General James Everett Livingston, custodian of the Medal of Honor; and military bands from across South Carolina
When | 10 a.m. Aug. 2
Where | First Baptist Church of Columbia, 1306 Hampton St., Columbia
Also | Each veteran will receive a special Senatorial Certificate of Appreciation, and a pin.
PATRIOTS POINT NAVAL & MARITIME MUSEUM
What | USS Yorktown (CV-10) aircraft carrier and USS Clamagore (SS-43) submarine, and Medal of Honor Museum
When | 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily
Where | 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant
How much | $20 ages 12-61; $17 seniors and active duty military with ID; $12 ages 6-11, and free for active duty military in uniform and ages 5 and younger. Parking $5.
If you watch
What | 25th annual “National Memorial Day Concert”
Where | Live from U.S. Capitol west lawn in Washington, D.C.
When | Sunday: 8-9:30 p.m., with replay 9:30-11 p.m.
With | Actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, co-hosts for ninth straight year, with actress Dianne Wiest; singer-actress Megan Hilty; singers Danielle Bradbery, Jackie Evancho, Anthony Kearns, and Jennifer Nettles (from Sugarland); The National Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Jack Everly; U.S. Army Herald Trumpets; U.S. Army Chorus; The Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band; U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters; and U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants
Airing on | PBS: including ETV outlets WHMC-TV 23 of Conway and WITV-TV 7 of Charleston, and WUNJ-TV 39 of Wilmington, N.C.
Includes | Commemoration of 70th anniversary of D-Day invasion
Information | www.pbs.org/memorialdayconcert/