Everyone looks forward to Memorial Day. It’s a three-day weekend! But this federal holiday is about more than picnics and parades. It’s about honoring and remembering our veterans. If you’re lucky enough to be vacationing in Bend over Memorial Day, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday, even in this time of uncertainty. So, here are a few ideas to get your Memorial Day vacation started.
Official Memorial Ceremonies in Bend
On Monday, the Deschutes Memorial Gardens will be hosting a wreath-laying ceremony among other events. Also on Monday, the Mt. Jefferson Cemetery will having a memorial service with flag dedication, 21-gun salute, and a flyover. Parade lovers can watch a parade of flags starting bright and early Monday morning at 7am at the Bend Heroes Memorial. The parade honors the 112 veterans serving in WWI to the present who called Bend home.
One of the more moving ceremonies is the We Are Remembering – Not Just a Number ceremony. For the 12th year, volunteers from Central Oregon will give a continuous reading of the name, age and hometown of every U.S. service person killed in Afghanistan since 2001 and in Iraq since 2003. Lasting over 14 hours, the reading takes place at Troy Field in downtown Bend.
Memorial Ceremonies on Your Own
Taking a quiet moment of remembrance during a family hike is an easy way to show appreciation. As you look out over the mountains and plains of Central Oregon, give thanks to the veterans and the freedoms they’ve fought for.
Another easy way to show your appreciation to our veterans is by sending some delicious BBQ to a local VFW chapter or local veteran’s hospital. Not sure how to go about it? Our friendly staff will be more than happy to help.
Go ahead and have your cook-out. Our vacation rentals come with equipped kitchens and many have grills out on the back deck. Serious meat lovers will want to head to Oregon Steak for local, “beer fed then grass-finished” Black Angus steaks, or order take out from Primal Cuts Market or The Meat Locker. For BBQ, order BBQ and all the sides from Baldy’s BBQ, The Pickled Pig BBQ & Café, and South yo Mouth.
After grilling local steaks, burgers, and hot dogs for your own cook-out or eating delicious take-out, head inside to watch a Memorial Day parade from years past on YouTube (there are tons!). Later you can watch the National Memorial Day Concert from the west lawn of the Capitol on PBS.
Vacationing in Bend for Memorial Day
Memorial Day is for honoring our veterans, but it’s also the start of summer! Time to get out and start hiking and biking those mountain trails. Your group can rent a couple of kayaks for hours of quiet, safe lake fun. It’s pretty easy to practice social distancing while enjoying outdoor activities. There’s plenty of room out here in Bend!
If your group is staying in your vacation rental in Bend for self-quarantining after arrival, just do your usual things. You can continue to binge-watch your favorite shows or find some new ones. Most of our rentals offer free Wi-Fi and cable for your viewing pleasure. Order in or grab some take-out from one of the local dining establishments when you’re hungry.
For updates on Memorial Day ceremonies and pandemic protocols here in Bend, give our staff a call today. They’ll be more than happy to help you find safe, socially distant activities for your family, and offer suggestions for some really great BBQ joints!