Memorial Day means so many different things to the people across this nation. It marks the beginning of Summer with it's three day weekend filled with Bar-B-Qs, bargain sales, and fun in the sun. It is a time to remember those fallen heroes that served protecting us all. A time to visit the grave of a loved one.
After the Civil War, Memorial Day developed from a day to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Many towns claim to be the first to make this official. After World War l, the day was expanded to honor all who have died in American Wars.
Here in San Mateo, we take it a step further. Our patriotism run deep. Our pride is not just in our fallen heroes, but also in our everyday heroes that actively protect us now. This Memorial Day we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of our city adopting the 101st Airborne Company A, Screaming Eagles.
On March 4, 1968, San Mateo adopted the Screaming Eagles A Company of the 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. It was a time that anti-war sentiment ran high. To help boost moral letters were sent to those men fighting. At the end of the Viet Nam War San Mateo was the only city in the United States to hold a Home Coming Parade to honor returning veterans of our adopted heroes.
That tradition continues today as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of that same Homecoming Parade this Memorial Weekend.
Friday May 25th a contingent of the current 101st will arrive from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Then, on Saturday in Central Park, you can give Screaming Eagle Boot Camp a try by working out with the Nations finest & fittest. A one hour boot camp includes a set of commemorative dog tags to the first 50 people to sign up.
That evening, a Recognition Banquet with the Screaming Eagles continues the festivities. Your $75.00 dinner ticket places you at the table with an active duty soldier. Although my husband and I probably won't know a soul there, neither will the soldier at our table. A night to make new friends and honor those serving our country now. A unique opportunity to show your pride in our City, our Country, and our adopted soldiers.
The following morning at 11am our Downtown parade begins. 40 years after the original we still celebrate our veterans and our active duty heroes in what promises to be a day of fun.
Following the parade, you can mingle with the troops and dine on BBQ prepared by our local firefighters. There will be plenty for the little ones with face painting and a bounce house.
On Memorial Day itself, the 71st Annual Observance, the Price of Freedom, honors the fallen heroes at Golden Gate National Cemetery. Beginning with a band concert at 10:30am and speakers following.
So spread the word! Be proud of our City and our adopted soldiers! And join in the fun!