I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 2020 was one of the most challenging years of my life, and one of the most difficult years for my senior clients. Unfortunately, so many Florida seniors were lost due to COVID-19, and so many more were left alone, isolated and depressed. Routines were disrupted, and family time and holidays were lost, thanks to the deadly coronavirus, which left the physical and mental health of aging adults hanging in the balance.
Even though COVID is not yet in our rearview mirror, restrictions are being lifted and “normal” activities can now resume.
Memorial Day is one of the most revered holidays by our senior population, and it makes perfect sense. Today’s seniors have lived through as many as six wars, and a good number of them have served our country overseas or supported their loved ones who have done so.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Memorial Day was officially established as a national holiday observed on the last Monday in May, by an act of Congress in 1971. However, the history of commemorating the brave men and women who lost their lives serving our great nation dates back as far as the Civil War. Citizens would take time to clean and decorate graves of fallen soldiers, friends and family members, in remembrance of their lives and sacrifices.
Seniors celebrate Memorial Day – or Decoration Day, as many call it – each year as a tradition of adorning the graves in honor of their fallen military family members lost as they fought for our country, or post-service. Thankfully, seniors often share this experience with their children and grandchildren in hopes they, too, will respect and honor the real meaning of the day and carry-on this sacred tradition.
Since Memorial Day 2020 was lost, for all intents and purposes, it’s important that this year we do our best to make Memorial Day memorable for seniors!
In Tampa, the 95th Annual Memorial Day Service presented by American Legion Post 5, is a moving tribute to the men and woman who have given their all for our country.
This special event features a color guard, military speakers from MacDill Air Force Base, a wreath-laying ceremony, patriotic songs, bag pipes, and a 21-gun salute.
Aside from visiting celebrations at cemeteries and national parks, there are many entertaining events scheduled in the St Pete/Clearwater and Tampa Bay areas Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day 2021 – St Pete/Clearwater
From barbeque feasts and concerts on the beach, to soccer and volleyball matches where athletes compete, St Pete/Clearwater Memorial Day weekend events are plentiful this year!
Memorial Day 2021 – Tampa
Much like its neighbors to the west, Memorial Day weekend events in Tampa include burgers, brew and barbeque, concerts, pool parties, and a yacht cruise, for those wanting to kick it up a notch this year!
But that’s not all! You can laugh it up at the Improv Comedy Theater in Tampa when one of the hottest comedians in the business today, Lavell Crawford, takes the stage for several shows over the holiday weekend, sponsored by WDUV.
Enjoy some variety of great music from dozens of bands that spans two days at the annual Sunset Music Festivalat Raymond James Stadium beginning at 2:00, Saturday, May 29th.
For a complete rundown of events happening in our area Memorial Day weekend, Google has made it easy. Just click on the link!
I sincerely hope we can all continue our special Memorial Day traditions and share them with families this year. To me, it’s important we all consciously experience Memorial Day as it was intended, and fully understand the true reason for holiday.
If there are special seniors in your life, I strongly encourage you to include them in your Memorial Day celebrations, especially if you plan to visit area cemeteries and celebrations. Our seniors have lived through tumultuous eras of depression, war, and now, a pandemic. I certainly understand how genuinely thoughtful and reflective seniors are when it comes to Memorial Day and honoring fallen Veterans, family members and friends.
However you choose to celebrate Memorial Day weekend 2021, I hope you will take time for remembrance. If it were not for the countless service men and women who have sacrificed their lives serving our country for well more than a century, the chances are, we would not have the freedoms we have to break out the barbeque, travel or live in a democratic society.
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