Remembrance is a central tenet of Memorial Day, which we observe on the final Monday of May each and every year.
But how people choose to honor those who served our country can be complex and private and ultimately of their own choosing. The Los Angeles National Cemetery will keep longer open hours on Monday, May 25, for those who want to spend some time in reflection or deliver a wreath in memory of a veteran.
There are public gatherings to join around Southern California, too, including a parade, a military appreciation day and the flower drop in the desert.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade: "Saluting the Price of Freedom" is the 2015 theme for this procession, one of the largest in California. Decorated floats, choral groups, a bevy of bands and civic groups all join in the big walk down Sherman Way. Want to be there at its starting point? Owensmouth and Sherman Way is the place to be, Monday, May 25, is the date, and the start time is at 11 a.m.
Battleship Iowa: The San Pedro-based ship has made a tradition of hosting a day of memory each Memorial Day, and so it shall again on May 25. It's Military Appreciation Day on the World War II landmark, with a special Memorial Day program, a performance by the Lindy Sisters and an appearance by Bernie Kopell of "The Love Boat" on the schedule. (Mr. Kopell was the USS Iowa librarian back in the late '50s.)
Memorial Day Air Fair & Flower Drop: Many people travel from all points to see this stunning and moving tribute, an honor that arrives from the sky. Some 3,000 carnations will "drop" to the tarmac near the Palm Springs Air Museum, in addition to the several vintage planes scheduled to fly over the course of Memorial Day. The flower drop begins at 1 p.m., while the flight exhibitions begin earlier in the morning.