Memorial Day Weekend in Washington, DC

Saturday, May 25

20th Anniversary of World War II Memorial and Memorial Day Observance – 10 a.m.
The National Park Service and the Friends of the National World War II Memorial will commemorate two decades since the dedication of the World War II Memorial and pay tribute to the more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during the Second World War. Veterans and other dignitaries will lay wreaths at the Freedom Wall to remember their comrades in arms. The ceremony is free and open to the public but advance registration is requested. The program will also be streamed live to the Friends’ Facebook page.

Sunday, May 26

The National Memorial Day Concert takes place Sunday, May 26, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The concert starts at 8 p.m. but gates typically open at 5 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. For those wanting to get a sneak peek, the dress rehearsal for the concert takes place Saturday, May 25, with gates opening around 5 p.m. For information on the concert, visit its FAQ page.

In addition to bands from different branches of service and regular mainstay Memorial Day Concert performers Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, actors Bryan Cranston and Cynthia Erivo will be performing, too. See the full lineup on the PBS website. Can’t make it to D. C.? PBS will air the concert live on Sunday.

The National Memorial Day Concert at the Kennedy Center on Sunday, May 26, at 2 p.m. is a free concert but you need tickets. Listen to classic American patriotic tunes sung by 200 singers accompanied by the U.S. Air Force Band.

Monday, May 27

Wreath Laying Ceremonies

  • Vietnam Women’s Memorial – 10 a.m.
    The ongoing series “Vietnam: In Their Own Words – Story Telling at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial,” continues on Memorial Day with remembrances shared by Vietnam veterans.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial – 1 p.m.
    The annual Memorial Day ceremony is co-hosted yearly by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Park Service to pay tribute to members of America’s armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam and in all conflicts.Featured speakers include Vietnam veterans Frederick W. Smith, Founder and Executive Chairman of FedEx Corporation; Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Ret.); and Lieutenant Commander Michael Petersen, USN (Ret.).The ceremony is free and open to the public. For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be broadcast on and VVMF’s Facebook page on Monday, May 27, 2024 at 1 p.m.
  • United States Navy Memorial – 1:30 p.m.
    The Navy Memorial will host a Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony in honor and memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. This event will feature the U.S. Navy Band and U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard. The ceremony will be live streamed on the Navy Memorial website. The U.S. Navy Memorial is located at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, immediately adjacent to the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro station (Green-Yellow lines).
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial – 4:15 p.m.
    The Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation will host a ceremony and wreath presentation at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day, to honor all who served and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom. The ceremony is free and open to the public, though advance registration is requested. The ceremony will also be live streamed on the foundation’s Facebook page.

National Memorial Day Parade – 2 p.m.
Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Drew Carey, the National Memorial Day Parade is the nation’s largest Memorial Day salute to the men and women who have sacrificed for our country. The parade will travel Constitution Avenue NW between 7th Street and 17th Street.

Taps Across the National Mall – 5 p.m.
At 5 p.m. on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29), Taps will be played at ten memorials and sites of future memorials that honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country. Visitors on the National Mall at that time are invited to pause at this time and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Sites at which Taps will be played include:

Taps Across the National Mall is coordinated by The Trust for the National Mall with support from The Doughboy Foundation.