While Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, it’s also a time to remember loved ones who died while serving in the military.
Last year, Memorial Day ceremonies, along with traditional family gatherings and summer kickoff activities, were curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, case numbers are falling and vaccination rates are steadily rising, and many official events and remembrances are back on the calendar.
There are several ways to honor and remember military members in and around Johnson County this Memorial Day, which is officially Monday, May 31. Some events are virtual, but there are in-person celebrations happening, as well.
Check out a few different Memorial Day celebrations happening locally this year:
- Remembrance Ceremony at Johnson County Memorial Gardens — The American Legion Post 370 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 846 are holding a remembrance celebration on May 31 at 11 a.m. at the Johnson County Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf Avenue. More information can be found on the Facebook event page here.
- Kansas City’ Great Balloon Glow — Taking place at the World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., on the site’s north and south lawns. The event will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 30, and feature glowing balloons. This was a tactic “used in WWI to gain reconnaissance miles above the front lines,” according to the website.
- World War I Museum and Memorial’s Memorial Day Ceremony — The hallmark event for Memorial Day in the Kansas City area, this hour-long celebration at the museum’s courtyard begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 31. It will include remarks from dignitaries and is free to the public. The museum is hosting a number of other Memorial Day weekend events. A schedule can be found online here.
- Memorial Day Services in Olathe — American Legion Post 153 in Olathe is hosting Memorial Day services at Veterans Memorial Park, 1025 S. Harrison Street, on Monday, May 31, starting at 11 a.m. This includes featured speaker Gold Star Mother Debbie Murchison-Perri on the topic, “What does Memorial Day mean to me,” according to the event webpage.
- Virtual Memorial Day Service in KCK — Chapel Hill-Butler Funeral Home and Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Kansas City, Kan., is hosting a virtual Memorial Day event on Facebook live at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 31. To attend the virtual memorial, visit the Facebook event page here.
- Memorial Day Ceremony in KCMO — Terrace Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Mo., is also hosting a ceremony on Monday, May 31, at 11 a.m. The cemetery will be serving lunch immediately after the memorial service, according to the Facebook event page.