Memorial Day: Find Events Around SoCal

A parade and a flower drop are two of the ways to observe the meaning-filled occasion.

Palm Springs Air Museum

It isn't every day of the week when one witnesses thousands of carnations drifting down from the sky above.

But if you're at the Palm Springs Air Museum on Monday, May 30, you will see the sight, which is as stirring a Golden State tradition as Memorial Day observances come. 

Ready to find your place to reflect, show your gratitude, and honor the day, which is built on the foundation of remembering those who have served? Then make for...

Long Beach: The unveiling of a memorial is always a major moment, and one such moment is happening at Rosie the Riveter Park over several hours on Monday, May 30. The Honoring the Fallen Memorial Wall will make its debut via the reading aloud of all 6,864 names (starting at 6 a.m.). The wall pays tribute to the "nearly 7,000 military service members killed in action since the 9/11 attacks..." and the official unveiling is at 4 o'clock.

Brentwood: Support the early-in-the-day Walk for Warriors by coming out and cheering those making their way around a 3.1-mile route at the Veterans Affair Campus. Can't join the walk but still want to show your support? Donate at New Directions for Veterans now.

Rancho Palos Verdes: Several memorial parks and cemeteries throughout Southern California will host remembrances, and the Green Hills Memorial Park is the location for one of the largest. It begins at 10 a.m., a "moving tribute to our fallen service men and women," a tribute that will include speeches as well as fly-overs.

Huntington Beach: The Huntington Beach High School Band will play at the Pier Plaza on May 30 as residents gather to remember those locals who gave their lives in service. Bagpipers will also be on hand, and a rifle salute is expected at the 11 a.m. ceremony. A Memorial Day Walk is also part of the day.

Palm Springs: This large celebration revs up at 10 a.m., with speeches, vintage plane fly-overs, medal presentations, and more. The Flower Drop Memorial Service begins promptly at 1 o'clock, when some 3,000 carnations will fall to the area near the airport. Guests may take one home, to remember.

Canoga Park: The city hosts one of the largest of Southern California's Memorial Day observances each year, in its grand band-filled parade. There are floats, and displays of community and fun, and more, all under the thematic banner of "Saluting the Price of Freedom." The opening ceremony is at 10, with the parade to follow at 11.

Boyle Heights: One especially emotional display of the day happens at Los Cinco Puntos Memorial Park each year, when a 24-hour "stand guard" is held at the memorial found there, an obelisk to those who have served in every war. The vigil began on Sunday morning and will conclude at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day.

Pico Rivera: If you or your loved one served in the Korean War, consider attending the Memorial Day Ceremony at the city's Veterans Monument on Monday, May 30 at 10 o'clock. While the day is for all veterans and their families, the 2016 observance will include a special tribute to those who served in the 1950-1953 war.

San Pedro: While no specific Memorial Day plans are in the works for the USS Iowa, it has become local tradition for veterans and their families to pay the ship a visit on Memorial Day. It did serve in World War II -- "the battleship of presidents" is its nickname -- and it is open for tours and more on Monday, May 30.

Queen Mary: The battleship's nearest WWII neighbor, the Queen Mary, has a package deal for visiting both, but if you just want to do the Long Beach landmark, you'll get in free on May 30 with your military ID. The ocean-liner was called into service during the war, and its historical displays are impressive and moving, both.

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