It's not about the picnics.
It's not about the sales.
It's not about the parades, even.
Memorial Day is about remembering.
In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance, to be observed for one minute at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. The time was chosen when we were most likely to be out and about, enjoying the day in the simple exercise of the freedoms we have—an afternoon at the ballpark, a day at the beach, and yes, ringing up a sales item. The call for remembrance asks the nation to pause at the same time, and observe it our own way.
The Moment of Remembrance does not take the place of Memorial Day, which traces its roots from the end of the Civil War. Here are some selected Memorial Day events around the Bay Area, from earliest to latest:
- Oakland: 10 a.m., 91st Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony, Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Ave.
- Walnut Creek: 10 a.m., Annual Memorial Day Service, Gazebo, Civic Park, N. Broadway and Civic Drive.
- Golden Gate National Cemetery, 1300 Sneath Ave., San Bruno: 10:30 a.m., "Price of Freedom" annual Memorial Day observance.
- Presidio of San Francisco: 10:30 a.m., Memorial Day ceremony and parade to the Presidio National Cemetery
- Hillsborough: 10:30 a.m., Hillsborough Town Hall, 1600 Floribunda Ave, Memorial Day Parade and Festival, ending at North School, 545 Eucalyptus Ave.
- Los Altos: 10:40 a.m. Veterans' Tribute, followed by Memorial Day Mass, Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
- San Jose: 11 a.m., 91st Annual Memorial Day Observance, hosted by the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County, Oak Hill Memorial Park, 3000 Curtner Ave.
- Alameda, aboard the U.S.S. Hornet: 1 p.m. Memorial Day service, including wreath ceremony and parade. Keynote speech by Commander James Ridgeway. Pier 3, 707 W. Hornet Ave.
- Point Reyes National Seashore: 2 p.m., National Moment of Remembrance Ceremony, Historic Graveyard, G Ranch, just off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
- Crosses of Lafayette: 7 p.m., Memorial Day Vigil, Deer Hill Road and Oak Hill Road.