Fly the Flag at Half-Staff

Happy Memorial Day! Happy Memorial Day? We get so used to wishing happy holidays that we end up saying inanities like these. Is it a happy day — a holiday to commemorate loss of lives, casualties? What do you make from a holiday whose best venue is the cemetery? A celebration of life, perhaps — rather than mourning?

It’s ok to decorate the grave and fire up the grill on the same day. We just need to stop and find that historical point of balance somewhere within all the beginning-of-summer, commercial, barbecue hype that overwhelms the day.

Whatever you’re doing at 2 p.m. (3 p.m. Eastern time), stop for a moment. Join others across the country for a national moment of remembrance to commemorate the men and women who have perished while in military service to our country. This isn’t a statement on war. This is not a declaration of violence. You are supporting nothing but the people who have died. You are supporting nothing but life… and humanity.


A number of events across the Twin Cities will pay tribute to our veterans. You’re likely to find crowds and activities in most any cemetery and/or memorial. And you’re likely to find small parades and gatherings in just about any town. But, of course, there’s plenty going on at the State Capitol as well. Join Minnesota Veterans for Peace at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 9 a.m., and join the Vietnam Veterans of America at 2:30 p.m. for live speakers, music, and a color guard march.

Fort Snelling might be the best place to spend the day and get a true feel for military life with a living Timeline of the American Soldier. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., costumed staff will map out 225 years of U.S.
military history for you through period clothing, accouterments, artifacts, and
firing demonstrations. Guests can explore recreated military
encampments. And veterans and current military families are admitted free
of charge.

Or you can choose spirit over realism and commemorate the day with a traditional Native American ceremony. Honor your veterans, your people, and your land at the Mille Lacs Memorial Day Pow-Wow. Enjoy the beautiful two-hour drive up north to Onamia for a day of Native American dance, music, food, crafts, and games. The outdoor event is sponsored by the local American
Veterans Post 53 and is held on the museum grounds on the beautiful
shores of Lake Mille Lacs.

Also today, Vive Minnesota! continues — with a special veteran’s remembrance at 11 a.m.

And if you’d like to forget Memorial Day altogether, then I have just the thing: It Came From Another World at the Parkway Theater.