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.
The following list of 2021 Memorial Day events will be updated as information becomes available. Check our Base Guide to find your local installation to find out what events are planned for Memorial Day near you.
2021 Memorial Day Events
Arlington National Cemetery has partial openings, crowd limits and instructions on COVID precautions. The information could change daily, so check their website for the most up-to-date information.
The National Memorial Day Concert will be broadcast on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 8:00 pm Eastern. Check your local listings to watch on PBS or go to the concert website to stream. There will be no in-person seating for this year’s event.
This year’s ceremony will be held on Monday, May 31, 2021 at 1:00 pm and will include a welcome home for five service members who were added to The Wall and five service members who were repatriated over the last two years. To attend in person, you must register for a seat. Seat registration will end on Wednesday, May 26th or as soon as they reach capacity. Please note that all attendees are required to wear masks and that seating will be distanced between groups. There will also be a virtual showing of the ceremony at https://www.vvmf.org/2021-Memorial-Day/ or on their Facebook page.
Hosted by the American Veterans Center, the 2021 National Memorial Day Parade will be televised only and due to continued protocols will not be open to the public. For information on when to watch and where visit the American Veterans Center site.
On Monday, May 31, in partnership with Wounded Warrior Project, The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation, Combined Arms and Jewish War Veterans, Ancestry will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Memorial Day as a federal holiday with the “50 Story Salute”- a montage of military heroes through time, highlighting powerful stories of strength and hope. You can watch it on Ancestry’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Memorial Day weekend, NEX customers can #RunForThisMoment with the virtual 5K run May 27 – 31, 2021. Participants can run at their own pace to the virtual finish line, accompanied by live musical performances and entertainment. The first 1,500 to register for the virtual 5K will receive a free commemorative medal, while supplies last. Registration opened May 17 on myNavyExchange.com/NEXtLevel5K.