Memorial Day Weekend 2021 Aims for Normalcy


Well, the weather wasn’t great at first. But, by Memorial Day, sunshine reigned supreme. In addition to the sounds of cicadas a distinct rumbling was heard on the Mall. Thousands of motorcyclists took part in the new, annual “Rolling to Remember” event — from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and over the Memorial Bridge — to honor Americans who died in battle and to raise awareness for the missing in action and suicide prevention for veterans.

At Arlington National Cemetery, many turned out to honor our nation’s fallen heroes. Memorial Day began at the cemetery in 1868, when it was then known as “Decoration Day.” In the past, over 135,000 visitors a year made their way to the cemetery to pay their respects. With Covid restrictions lifting, numbers should be much higher this year than last.

Also, other ceremonies included those at the World War Two Memorial and the Navy Memorial as well as Taps Across America at 3 p.m.

Finally, in case you missed it, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden along with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff surprised Washingtonians with a Memorial Day visit to the popular restaurant, Le Diplomate, at 1601 14th St. NW. The couples stopped for their double date after paying their respects at Arlington Cemetery. On their way in, they were seen saying hello to visibly shocked outdoor diners. No word on what they ordered.

Rolling to Remember: The Saluting Marine at Constitution Avenue. Photo by Bill Starrels.

Rolling to Remember: Along Bacon Drive. Photo by Bill Starrels.

Rolling to Remember: Along Bacon Drive. Photo by Bill Starrels.

Rolling to Remember: On Third Street near the Capitol. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Rolling to Remember: On Third Street near the Capitol. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Rolling to Remember: On Third Street near the Capitol. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Rear Admiral Carl Lahti,, Commandant, Naval District Washington and Rear Admiral (ret) Barry Clayton Black, Chaplain of the United States Senate, lay a memorial wreath at the U.S. Navy Memorial on May 31. Courtesy the U.S. Navy Memorial/Photo by Jeff Malet.

President Joe Biden participates in a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 31. U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser.

President Joe Biden and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Omar Jones IV, commanding general, Joint Task Force-National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington, walk towards the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on May 31. Biden and Jones, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III, participated in a Presidental Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the 153rd National Memorial Day Observance. U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser.

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