Although a lot of us use Memorial Day Weekend as the start of our summer camping season, we can't forget what the real meaning of Memorial Day is. It's not just a holiday where we go eat good food, have some adult beverages and watch our kids play in the lake. It's about more than that. According to History.com Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday of May. The day is set aside to honor men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, its started in the years following the Civil War and eventually become an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe the holiday by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.
Places to Visit While On The Road
This Memorial Day make your RV Road Trip meaningful. Community Table has compiled a list of some of the most Awe-Inspiring Military Monuments to visit this Memorial Day.
USS Midway Museum Where: San Diego, CA The longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century, the USS Midway now operates as a museum. The exhibits show what life might have been like aboard the ship, with the crew’s sleeping quarters, the massive galley, engine room, the ship’s jail, pilots’ ready rooms, and primary flight control on display.
USS Iowa Where: San Pedro, CA The USS Iowa, which spent more than 70 years in service through World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War, is the West Coast’s only battleship open for the public to tour.
Pacific Aviation Museum Where: Ford Island, Hawaii Housed inside World War II-era hangars that survived the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, dozens of air crafts from that day and throughout World War II are on display at this museum.
USS Arizona Memorial Where: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii A memorial to the 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives aboard the USS Arizona in the Pearl Harbor attack, this tribute is made from parts of the sunken battleship. In the “shrine room,” the names of those killed on the Arizona are engraved on a marble wall.
Historic Ships in Baltimore Where: Baltimore, Maryland One of the biggest collections of military vessels in the world, this attraction includes tours aboard the US Sloop-of-War Constellation, the US Submarine Torsk, the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney, and the Lightship Chesapeake.
Battleship Cove Where: Fall River, Massachusetts Five National Historic Landmarks come together at the biggest collection of preserved US Navy ships in the world. Visitors can check out the battleship USS Massachusetts, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., the submarine USS Lionfish, and PT Boats 617 and 796.
New Jersey Naval Museum Where: Hackensack, New Jersey Families will love the fascinating array of naval artifacts at this museum—especially the awe-inspiring USS Ling submarine, which is open for guided tours.
Destroyer Escort Historical Museum Where: Albany, New York Visit the only World War II destroyer escort left afloat in the United States, the USS Slater, at this museum. The ship underwent a fifteen-year restoration and is now moored on the Hudson River for guests to see.
USS Lexington Where: Corpus Christi, Texas Before becoming a museum, the USS Lexington spent 21 months in combat during World War II. Now, you can take one of five self-guided tour routes through the ship’s eleven decks and ask questions of the volunteers—many of whom are veterans who served on the ship when it was in commission.
CAF Airpower Museum Where: Midland, Texas A tribute to all things that have to do with military aviation during World War II, this museum features an exhibit of George H.W. Bush’s 58 combat missions over the Pacific, an “American Combat Airman Hall of Fame,” and collections of wartime folk art.
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