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May 21, 2013 > Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Expressions of memory and honor are the foundations of Memorial Day. Each year on the last Monday in May the country remembers American men and women who have died in service to their country as members of the armed forces.

Previously known as "Decoration Day," Memorial Day was a time to commemorate soldiers who died in the Civil War. Over the years, the remembrance was extended to encompass everyone who died in service to their country, with a universal day established for all states to honor their dead. Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868. While May 30 was the traditional day of celebration for numerous years, it was changed to the last Monday in May due an act passed by Congress in 1968 to create a three-day holiday weekend. Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the summer season.

On Monday, May 27, flags will be flown, cemeteries visited and grave sites decorated, parades held, with many paying visits to local and national memorials. There will also be plenty of picnics and barbecues, and those looking for a good shopping deal or quick weekend getaway. Memorial Day celebrations in the greater Tri-City area includes ceremonies at the Flight 93 Memorial and Castro Valley Veterans Memorial, an admission-free day of fun at Ardenwood Historic Farm, hanging out with butterflies and hummingbirds and making crafts at Coyote Hills, or taking a train trip through Niles Canyon.

Many believe that the true spirit of Memorial Day has been diminished by the larger focus on vacation time and fun activities. In response to this concern, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in December 2000 and calls for all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. for moment of silence to honor and respect those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. So, no matter where you are or what you might be doing this Memorial Day, remember to stop and recognize the true meaning of the holiday and give respect where it is due.

Memorial Weekend Steam
May 26 and 27
Noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Niles Canyon Railway
5550 Niles Canyon Rd., Sunol
(925) 862-9063
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children

Ardenwood Open House
Monday, May 27
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797

Nectar Garden Fun Day
Monday, May 27
10 a.m.
Coyote Hills Regional Park
8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont
(510) 544-3220

Castro Valley Veterans Memorial Event
Monday, May 27
9 a.m.
Castro Valley Veterans Memorial
Castro Valley Community Center & Park
18988 Lake Chabot Rd., Castro Valley

Lone Tree Cemetery's 110th Memorial Day Event
Monday, May 27
11 a.m.
Lone Tree Cemetery
24591 Fairview Ave., Hayward
(510) 582-1274

9/11 Flight 93 Memorial Event
Monday, May 27
3 p.m.
Flight 93 Memorial
Sugar Mill Landing Park
30700 Carr Way, Union City

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