While many associate Veterans Day and Memorial Day with service, the two are not the same. Veterans Day is a celebration of those who serve and have served. Memorial Day is a solemn day to reflect on those veterans and military personnel who are deceased.
May is also National Military Appreciation Month, and many businesses offer special discounts to veterans over the Memorial Day Weekend. Visit the Military Appreciation Month Discount Center to find out what offers are available throughout the month of May.
Due to the ongoing crises, events details are still in flux and subject to change. The following list of 2020 Memorial Day events will be updated as information becomes available. And check our Base Guide to find your local installation and see what events are planned for Memorial Day near you.
2020 Memorial Day Events
KABC-TV has joined with the Los Angeles National Cemetery to present the 131st Memorial Day Ceremony event virtually. The event will broadcast and stream live from the L.A. National Cemetery without an audience due to the stay-home and social distancing orders and ABC7’s Eyewitness News anchor David Ono will host the ceremony on Monday, May 25th from 10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT. The 2020 ceremony will air live exclusively for the first time on ABC7’s linear broadcast and stream on abc7.com and the new ABC7 Los Angeles connected TV apps for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.
The American Legion will be commemorating Memorial Day virtually by asking people to share the names of those they are personally honoring and remembering. The Legion will compile the list and share it via social media over the Memorial Day weekend. To participate, send in the information requested online.
To commemorate Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, Ancestry® will host the “Parade of Heroes.” The virtual event will stream on Monday, May 25 at 11 AM ET on Ancestry’s Facebook Event Page. TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford will host, and singer Tori Kelly will perform. The parade will highlight stories of strength and hope through exclusive veteran interviews and special tributes.
Arlington National Cemetery will remain closed to the general public through the Memorial Day weekend with access allowed only to family pass holders. Family members will need to show a valid family pass and have a face mask in their possession to gain entry. Throughout the Memorial Day weekend, a multi-media virtual visitation will be distributed on either the cemetery's website or on social media.
Fleet Week 2020 will take place virtually from May 20-26 and include Memorial Day events. The virtual experience will be hosted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Virtual ship tours, performances by the Navy Band Northeast, the USMC Battle Color Detachment, the Coast Guard Silent Drill Team and the Navy’s parachute team, the Leapfrogs are scheduled. For up-to-date information on all FWNY events, “Like” FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, and “Follow” @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter and Instagram at www.instagram.com/fleetweeknyc.
Singer/songwriter and Grammy award winner Lee Greenwood will present a virtual concert on Facebook to pay tribute to America’s heroes on Monday, May 25th at 4:00PM CST on Lee’s facebook page. To watch live, please visit facebook.com/TheLeeGreenwood.
The traditional live concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol will not be held to ensure the health and safety of all involved. However, a special 90-minute presentation of the National Memoridal Day Concert, will air on PBS Sunday, May 24, 2020, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. E.T., as well as on the American Forces Network. The concert will also be streaming on Facebook, YouTube, their website and available as Video on Demand, May 24 to June 7, 2020.
Due to social distancing, the 2020 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. has been canceled but will be replaced by a pre-recorded television special, “The National Memorial Day Parade: America Stands Tall” airing on Memorial Day, Monday May 25, on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox stations nationwide.
The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will host a virtual 1 mile, 5k, and 10k run and walk to honor America’s heroes over Memorial Day Weekend, May 22 - 25, 2020. The event features options to run or walk 1 mile or 5k in honor of a lost loved one in your own life or 10K (6.2 miles) to honor those lost from all 6 branches of service. Register on or before May 18 to receive your event shirt and items prior to Memorial Day Weekend.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial will offer a modified program for Memorial Day in conjunction with social distancing measures. While the Museum will be closed, three ceremonies will be streamed online on May 25th to help the public pay respect to those who bravely served. The Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at 10 am eastern, the Bell-Tolling Ceremony begins at noon eastern, and the Walk of Honor Dedication Ceremony begins at 2 pm eastern.
The National D-Day Memorial will host a virtual program, What is Memorial Day? On Monday, May 18, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Register online to attend the virtual lesson.
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF) will host their annual Memorial Day ceremony virtually via Facebook and Instagram Live at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 25. The virtual ceremony will begin with a benediction by Joe Formola, chaplain of the New Jersey State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, and welcoming remarks from Melissa Ziobro, professor at Monmouth University and NJVVMF Trustee.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will be presenting a virtual National Military Survivor Seminar and Family Program available to everyone at no cost. The virtual event will include sessions, care groups, informational seminars, family programming, opportunities to memorialize our loved ones and special celebrity appearances. Registration is available online.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial will host an online commemoration on Memorial Day, Monday May 25, from 1pm to 2 pm Eastern via their website. Virtual attendees can access the commemoration online.
In partnership with Team RWB, wear blue: run to remember will host a virtual remembrance with the goal of memorializing all 7,029 service members, who have died since 9/11/2001 by having their name read aloud somewhere in the world through a run or walk on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. The organizations are also partnering with companies like Amazon.com, which is inviting employees to mark Memorial Day by participating. Registrants will be given the name and story of a fallen hero and instructions for printing a bib or are welcome to honor someone on their own. Registration is available online.